Calderdale firm’s role in terror defence

Martyn Coffey CEO of Marshalls plc.
Martyn Coffey CEO of Marshalls plc.

CALDERDALE firm Marshalls has reported record profitsafer seeing strong demand for study street furniture that can help prevent the terrorist atrocities that hit London last month and Berlin and Nice last year.

In the cases on mainland Europe, truck drivers were able to mow down tourists in highly populated areas as they crashed through flimsy street furniture such as planters.

Elland-based Marshalls reported strong interest in removable and retractable bollards and other street furniture that can prevent further atrocities.

The group’s chief executive Martyn Coffey said: “It’s an area of growth in both the Middle East and Britain. This street furniture can prevent vehicle access. It can stop the driver of a seven-tonne truck.

“Look at the attacks in Nice and Berlin. They were areas where there were a lot of people.”

He said the group has seen interest from a number of different areas such as stadiums and areas where there are celebrations, marches or demonstrations.

“Some products are removable or retractable,” said Mr Coffey. “In Nice they had planters, but the truck went through them. They were using surface mounted furniture whereas ours have foundations.”

He was speaking as the group announced record results for 2016 and said it is well placed to deliver further growth. The firm said sales and order intake have been strong in the first couple of months of 2017.

The group’s shares rose nearly 10 per cent to 347p after it announced record pre-tax profits growth of 31 per cent to £46m in the year to December 31. Revenue rose 3 per cent to £396.9m.

Mr Coffey said the ​second half of the year was stronger than the first.

“Profit was up over 30 per cent. We think this is our new product development coming through. Also there was cost improvement.

“Our standout number is the domestic performance. Consumer confidence has stayed high. There was a lot of concern over Brexit, but we haven’t seen that,” he added.