Finsbury Foods reports great bake-off as sales top £200m

Kasmira Jefford
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FINSBURY Food Group, the cake and bread maker, yesterday posted a surge in full-year profits across all of its divisions after sales exceeded £200m for the first time.

The Aim-listed company, which supplies retailers including Waitrose, Tesco and Thorntons, said adjusted profits before tax rose 11.6 per cent to £6.5m for the year to 30 June on sales up 9.4 per cent to £207.4m.

Chairman Martin Lightbody, who joined Finsbury in 2007 when it bought cake company Lightbody, said business had “never been more of a challenge”.

“Steering a major bakery group through the stormy seas of an economic downturn was never going to be painless,” he said.

He warned that input inflation continued to impact margins with prices for commodities such as sugar and eggs steadily increasing.

Lightbody said consumer incomes remained squeezed but cakes remained an affordable family treat.

Revenue from cakes across UK and Europe rose by nine per cent to £152.4m, driven by growth at its subsidiary Lightbody, which specialises in celebration cakes.

The group’s bread and Free From ranges were also up by 10 per cent to £54.9m, boosted by demand for gluten-free products.

It also reduced its total net debt by 8.6 per cent to £33.9m.