On right path at Marshalls despite the rain

Marshalls, the company that provided paving for the London Olympics, saw revenues fall 7 per cent in 2012 as bad weather put paid to many people's plans to build patios or drives.

But the group said it would hit City expectations of profits around £10.5m this year, down from £13.7m in 2011. Marshalls also said cost-cutting plans had been completed ahead of schedule, enabling it to cut its fixed costs and reduce debt from £77m to £64m. It added that public-sector and commercial revenues fell 6 per cent last year while domestic sales were down 12 per cent. But the order book for domestic work is up from 7.8 weeks to 8.7 weeks.

Marshalls said it still expects growth in the public and commercial market, where its street furniture, permeable paving and internal stone flooring are market leaders.