Finsbury profits boosted by bakery acquisition

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Baker Finsbury Food said a new acquisition had helped it almost double half-year profits despite a “challenging” period in the grocery sector amid the supermarket price war.

Cardiff-based Finsbury said its pre-tax profit jumped 95 per cent to £4.1m in the six months to December 27, aided by its £56m purchase of Sheffield-based Fletchers Group of Bakeries in October.

Revenues rose 24.1 per cent to £107.6m also driven by successful Christmas trading and strong revenues from its licence agreement to make cakes linked to Disney animated film Frozen. Like-for-like sales were up 5.6 per cent.

Finsbury Food said it had bought Fletchers to expand its presence in buns, muffins, scones and baguettes. It added that the results for this period include two months of trading from Fletchers.

Both firms are major suppliers to the country’s biggest supermarkets, including Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons.

The group said: “Whilst the UK grocery market continues to be challenging, the wider economic environment is slowly improving.”

It said it delivered a good first half performance, and expected this to continue into the second half of the year as it completes the integration of Fletchers which would deliver costs savings.

Finsbury Food chief executive John Duffy said: “We have seen notable growth, both organically and through the Fletchers acquisition, which is integrating well.”

“We look forward to the remainder of the year with confidence and, despite a tough trading environment, we believe the group is in a strong position to deliver on our growth strategy.”