Carr’s announced this week that operating profit in its milling business more than halved over the last year, to £1.1m (from £2.5m) on sales up 2.4% to £57m (from £55.7m).

The profit decrease reflected the delays of passing on the full impact of the 80% increase in the price of wheat, the company revealed in its unaudited results for the 52-week period to 1 September 2007.

"This price impacted the group’s flour milling business," chairman Richard Inglewood said in a statement. "The company was unable to pass on increases in raw material costs, fully and immediately, to its customers."

The group only started to recover costs in August, with its first flour price increase. As grain prices rose sharply again after this, a second increase was needed and implemented this month.

According to Carr’s, this had helped to lift margins, and as well as "significant" production and distribution costs, it hoped for a better year in 2008.