Northern Ireland-based bakery Irwin & Sons returned to profit in 2016 after reporting a loss the previous year.

The business made a profit of £117,386 in the year ended 3 April 2016 – versus a £128,574 loss in 2015 – and bosses have said they expect the bakery to continue to improve its financial performance.

Turnover increased fractionally from £29.7m in 2015 to £29.8m in the latest financial year, while gross margin increased by one percentage point to 29%.

“The year delivered an improvement in results on the prior year,” stated the business in its strategic report, adding that this was against a background of “very competitive” trading conditions, particularly in the supermarket sector.

“The directors have every expectation that the action in place will continue to deliver improved financial performance and lead to sales and profit growth over the coming year,” it added.

Recent activity by the business – which sells under brands including Irwin’s, Howell’s and Rankin Selection – has included the launch of a new range of low-sugar products aimed at families.

Irwins added that the directors considered the business “well positioned to develop its core brands, and new product development continues to support these”.