Finsbury Food Group said it planned to expand its organic bread business, as it posted interim results for the six months to 31 December on 30 March.

The company, which acquired celebration cakes company Lightbody of Hamilton in February, said it saw continued sales growth across its business, with sales in Memory Lane Cakes up by 5% in the six-month period and Nicholas & Harris’ sales up 18%.

Chief executive Dave Brooks told British Baker that Finsbury was looking at ways of adding capacity at Salisbury-based Nicholas & Harris. The bakery was expected to make £400,000 worth of product in the peak week before Easter. As demand continues to escalate, part of the operation may be moved to the UCB bakery in Scotland, Brooks said. And Finsbury may bolster its bread business with an acquisition in 2008, when it has absorbed the Lightbody of Hamilton business, he added.

Finsbury has now finished a consultation with employees at its California Cakes Company division over a relocation to Lightbody of Hamilton’s premises (British Baker, 2 February, pg 4-5). It is to spend £500,000 on kitting out those premises to take on the new production. Operations are scheduled to start moving in May and complete by the end of summer.

Purchasing has also been reviewed, with new buying terms in place by 26 February. Brooks commented: "Suppliers nowadays are sensible. They know that if they are charging 1p a kilo more with one of the businesses, they need to change their prices. There is nothing aggressive about it."

Finsbury is working with Asda on a relaunch of its premium Extra Special cakes’ range.

First-half pre-tax profit was up 12% on sales up 32% to £43.43m.