Icelandic firm Bakkavor, which owns New Primebake, said it had strengthened its position in the UK, as it released its results for 2006 this week.

The company reported an operating profit of £113.9m up 71% year on year, and total sales of £1.2bn, with like-for-like sales up 10% year on year.

In the coming year, the company claims it will respond to UK customers’ growing concerns about social, environmental and ethical issues, and aims to develop products free from hydrogenated fats, artificial additives and preservatives, using only natural ingredients to flavour and preserve foods.

Bakkavor made four acquisitions in the UK last year. These were the desserts and chilled cakes companies Laurens Patisseries and Rye Valley Patisserie, speciality bread firm New Primebake and readymeals producer Fresh Cook.

Bakkavor said inflationary pressures in the UK, caused by higher oil prices and interest rates, are influencing economic confidence. This runs alongside ongoing price competition among grocery retailers and internet pricing.