The Real Good Food Company (RGFC) said trading activity in its third quarter had been lower than anticipated, with December particularly challenging.

The bakery products and ingredients group said although trading was in line with the rest of the market, performance in the next quarter, covering the Easter period, would be critical to its trading outcome for the year.

Sales at Napier Brown were lower than expected, during the period from 1 October to 31 December 2012. However, RGFC plans to acquire a site in Immingham, north-east Lincolnshire, for the import of sugars, with the new facility expected to be fully operational this summer.

Renshaw launched a new brand identity and new e-commerce site earlier this month, while Haydens Bakeries is reported to have improved operational labour and material efficiencies, with profits since October meeting expectations. The firm added that Haydens was focused on extending its customer base, with particular growth targeted within the foodservice sector.

R&W Scott has returned to profit following its separation into a distinct business unit, according to RGFC, with plans in place to develop a distinct branded offering in both jams and chocolate coatings.

Pieter Totté, executive chairman, said: “The strategic changes that have been made across the group during the current financial year are now settling down and producing positive results. There has been a return to profitability at Haydens and R&W Scott, for example, and overall profitability is expected to be well ahead of the previous year.

“Our underlying performance is clearly on an upward curve and our plans for further growth are underpinned by our partnership with PNC which, through the recent extension of our banking facilities, provides us with the financial support we need.”