In its half-year results, it said performance had again been “dominated” by the dispute with British Sugar. Despite this, it said that since the start of a new sugar contract in October, the company’s sugar arm, Napier Brown, had returned to profitability.
It also said that trading for the rest of the group, including Renshaw, R&W Scott, Haydens Bakery, Real Good Food Europe and central costs, had increased EBITDA to £0.9m, up from £0.2m in 2013, from the six months to 30 September.
The food business seemed confident that while these figures were reflective of the difficult sugar market, Napier Brown had now returned to a “normal trading pattern”.
It also said that the sugar business was in a much stronger position in retail, being the lead supplier to both Asda and Sainsbury’s.
Pieter Totté, executive chairman, said: “After suffering the impact of our pricing dispute with British Sugar, we are pleased by the start we have made to the new sugar contract year in October, since when our Napier Brown business has returned to profitability. At the same time, Renshaw and Haydens Bakery have made excellent progress and are trading significantly ahead of the prior year.”
Retail sector expansion
Elsewhere, revenue figures for Renshaw showed double-digit growth in the half-year results, and it said the Christmas sales period was going strong.
It also said bakery arm Haydens Bakery had extended its customer base to Asda, Aldi, Morrisons and Caffè Nero, and was continuing to improve on profits after simplifying its product range.
Totté continued: “Elsewhere, our new management teams at Garrett Ingredients and R&W Scott are successfully driving these businesses and we expect to see improved trading during the course of 2015. Real Good Food Europe in Brussels has the infrastructure to build our international activities and is delivering strong sales growth.
“Trading across the whole group has been ahead of last year during October and November, with Renshaw and Haydens Bakery continuing to lead the way, and we look forward to a strong performance during the key Christmas period. We remain confident about the prospects for the group and are working on a number of new corporate initiatives, with a focus on delivering value to shareholders.”