Finsbury Foods’ sales for the 20 weeks to mid-November were up 11% on the same 2007/08 period, but sales in its Cake division slowed to 3% year-on-year.

“Cake growth has slowed both within the whole market and within Finsbury,” said a company spokesperson.

“There has been a reduction in demand for high value celebration cakes, and a general market decline in own-label healthier cakes; however the WeightWatchers brand hasn’t seen any decline.”

Year-on-year sales in its Free From and Bread divisions have risen 26% and 18% respectively.

Chief executive, Martin Lightbody, said Finsbury would rely on its “core competencies” in order to deliver innovative, high quality products in the current trading environment.

He has said it would look to grow its market share through continued development of its key retailer own-brand relationships and an increased focus on its major brands – Thorntons, WeightWatchers, Disney and Nestlé.

“There is no doubt that this has been a demanding trading period for the Group, with recovery of input price inflation proving more difficult than we anticipated,” said Lightbody.

“Trading between now and the financial year end remains difficult to predict given uncertain customer and consumer behaviour. However, I am confident that, as commodity prices ease and our internal efficiency programmes are delivered, the Group will be better placed to meet the challenges which lie ahead.”