Finsbury Food Group has seen a positive sales turnaround in its Cake division in the past year, with group revenue also on the up following a decrease for the comparable period in 2010.

The firm has seen sales in its Cake division up 12% on last year, to £139.9m, for the full year to 2 July 2011. Finsbury said approximately half the growth came from the UK cake business and half came from Lightbody Europe (LBE), its 50%-owned joint venture export business.

Growth in the UK cake business was achieved through a combination of increased promotional support, and new launches, according to the manufacturer, while the growth at LBE came from “new sales contracts and distribution gains for third-party ranges within the French market”.

Sales in Bread and Free-From continued to rise, up 14.2% to £50m. The strong growth of the Genius brand contributed to the success in this division, said Finsbury.

Total group revenue has improved to the tune of 12.8%, to £189.9m, compared with the previous year, when it dropped 6%.

“The heavy investment of recent years in innovation, sales promotions and competitiveness has delivered sales growth of great-tasting premium product ranges,” commented chief executive John Duffy.

“However, relentless commodity price inflation on basic ingredients, such as butter, sugar and flour, has reduced our margins. With further commodity increases, the ongoing challenge is to recover these costs through reformulation and price increases while continuing the growth.”

In July 2010, Finsbury reported its celebration cake sales had fallen as consumers opted to trade down.

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