UK bakery sales at Finsbury Food Group, manufacturer of cake, bread and morning goods for retail and foodservice channels, grew 5.8% for the six months ended 28 December 2019.

This core division helped drive the group’s total sales of £159.4m for the period, representing a 4.7% increase versus the corresponding period in 2018.

The results were announced in a trading update today (16 January), which also reported a reduction in sales from Finsbury’s overseas division. Sales were down 3.5% versus the same period in 2018.

“Notwithstanding the group’s continued momentum, management are cognisant of the difficult trading environment and wider macro-economic uncertainty, and remain focused on innovation, efficiency and investment,” Finsbury stated.

It comes after a solid year for the business, which reported a 203% rise in profit before tax for the year ending 29 June 2019, with group revenue up 3.8% year on year.

One of Finsbury’s focuses for 2019 was NPD, which saw it expand key licences and introduce others. Mary Berry’s cake range was among those to be expanded, while characters from Frozen, Paw Patrol, Star Wars, and Hey Duggee were added to its celebration cake range and a series of cupcakes and gift cakes were rolled out with Harry Potter branding.

It also expanded its grown-up cake range with a number of alcohol brand licences, including Guinness and Baileys.