Maple Leaf anxious over rising costs

03 August, 2007
Page 6 
Bagel specialist Maple Leaf UK has expressed concern over the impact of soaring flour prices and energy costs on its business.
Speaking after its Canadian parent company posted results this week, Maple Leaf UK's deputy director Guy Hall told British Baker: "The main concern at the moment is the uncertainty over prices - the massive hike in the price of flour and energy."It was too early to tell how hard the British harvest would be hit this year by the torrential rain throughout the summer, he said. But global demand running ahead of supply and extreme weather conditions were creating an uncertain picture for the future.Hall added: "It's not looking good. The wheat fields around this area are looking flat."Production at Maple Leaf UK's Rotherham bakery was affected for three days in June after flooding knocked out the electricity supply. The car park and approach roads were also submerged under three feet of water.Meanwhile, Maple Leaf's parent company in Canada reported huge financial losses for the second quarter of the year. However, Guy Hall dismissed the results as not relevant to the British business. Maple Leaf in Canada posted a second quarter net loss of $1.7m compared to net earnings of $21.2m in the period before.Hall said the finances in Canada had been skewed by the meat-processing side of its Canadian business, which was in the throes of major restructuring. "It's separate from the bakery group," he said.



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