Bread and cake maker Finsbury Food Group revealed this morning its operating profit increased by 5.2% to £2.6m in the first half of the year to 28 December 2013.

Group revenue from continuing operations was down 1.8% to £86.6m (H1 2012: £88.2m) and profit before tax from continuing operations was up 50.6% to £2.1m (H1 2012: £1.4m).

The AIM-listed group said net debt had been slashed, down 57% to £11.8m from H1 £27.4m. John Duffy, chief executive of Finsbury Food Group, said: “I am pleased with the progress made in what has been a transitional year for the group. The sale of the Free From division, consequent group restructuring and capital investment have transformed the balance sheet and provided the group with the strong foundation on which it is operating.

Trading environment 

“Whilst the trading environment remains tough in the short term, our low level of debt and interest costs allow us to make significant investment in our factories and businesses for the future, in line with our stated strategy. We believe that although the consumer markets remain challenging, an improvement in consumer behaviour lies ahead, and the group is in a strong position to mitigate against these wider market challenges and focus on its strategy for growth.”

Last year the company sold United Central Bakeries to Genius Foods for approximately £21m.