Finsbury profit rises 4% during ‘transformation’

Finsbury Food Group reported a 4% rise in operating profit

Speciality cake and bread manufacturer Finsbury Food Group reported a 4% rise in operating profit to £8.3M in its half-year trading update, as the business continues to transform “into a diverse, multi-channel” bakery group.

Profit before tax increased 5.3% to £7.9M, and adjusted diluted earnings per share were up 7.5% to 1p.

Finsbury Food Group said the rise in profits followed six of its eight sites supplying into the foodservice channel. This provided a “significantly broader speciality bakery range, from artisan and free-from breads, to snacking and sharing cakes”, it said.

‘Innovation and diversification’

Finsbury chief executive John Duffy said: “We have delivered a strong first-half performance, and this demonstrates the benefits of the group’s investment and strategy implemented over prior years. [It] reinforces our approach to innovation and diversification across our channels, customers and products.

“Our balance sheet remains solid, positioning the business well for future investment and the resulting benefits.”

The baker opened a new artisan bread facility over the 26 weeks to December 31, which boosted profit. It also secured the licence to manufacture a range of Mary Berry cakes. The range was expected to launch before the end of June.

Finsbury expected to launch

Finsbury expected to overcome any Brexit-related challenges, it said, including increased import costs due to the weak value of sterling.

Duffy said: “Well-documented market challenges persist, however the group has prepared well and is continuing to work hard to mitigate against these.

“Furthermore, the group’s track record of exceptional growth and diversification over the prior years illustrates that it has the right strategy in place to continue to deliver growth and improved shareholder value over the coming years.”

Meanwhile, in Finsbury’s last trading update, the group reported a 2.9% drop in sales. Its European business, however, reported 31.7% growth.

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