Finsbury Food Group, the manufacturer of cake, bread and gluten-free goods, saw its total sales grow by 1.2% in its first half, it revealed this morning.

Total group sales increased from £102m from the year before to £103.3m in the six months to 29 December, 2012.

The AIM-listed group, which raised a £3.9m acquisitions war chest late last year, said its cake business had increased by 2% (£1.1m) which was, “broadly in line with the market”.

However, Finsbury’s bread and free-from division was its star performer, seeing a £1.8m or 7% hike in sales to £27.4m.

John Duffy, chief executive, said: “Following last year’s significant sales growth ahead of the markets in which we operate, I am pleased with the resilient growth and efficiency improvements delivered in the first half across the group businesses in what has been a tough marketplace.

“November’s successful equity raise, the first for five years, will accelerate our efficiency investments in the largest cake business, while also allowing us to meet our strengthened target balance sheet during 2013. I am confident this is the best response to the continued market challenges ahead.”

Finsbury said the consumer remains “under considerable financial pressure” and continues to be “value-conscious”.

Meanwhile, the company said its focus on internal efficiencies had helped to offset the inflationary costs of key ingredients such as sugar, egg and flour, as well as energy costs.