Finsbury defies ‘malaise’ in confidence to grow 3.1%

New business wins, organic growth and cost recovery have helped drive Finsbury Food Group’s annual sales to £299.3m.

In a trading update for the full financial year to 29 June, the company reported a 3.1% hike in group revenue, with sales in the second half of the year up 5.7%.

Like-for-like sales from the group’s core division, UK Bakery, rose 4.7%, which Finsbury said was ahead of the wider market and had been achieved “despite the ongoing malaise in consumer confidence and the broader macro environment”.

"We have navigated through an intense period of cost inflation and broader macro issues and, as such, we are very pleased to be reporting a strong return to growth in the second half, delivering a performance that is in line with market expectations,” said chief executive John Duffy.

In contrast to the UK performance, sales from Finsbury’s Overseas division declined by 9.8% on a like-for-like basis. However, including the Ultrapharm free-from business acquired by Finsbury last September, sales grew 13.2%.

Established in 1993, Ultrapharm employs more than 240 staff and manufactures products including bread, rolls and other morning goods at Pontypool in the UK and in Zywiec, Poland. Finsbury said it was investing in the operation ahead of expected future growth.

“We look forward to reaping the benefits of the investment in Ultrapharm, an acquisition that has further diversified the group into higher-growth markets,” added Duffy. “As a focused and diversified group, we remain optimistic about the growth prospects."

Looking ahead, Finsbury said inflationary pressures remained, although some elements of cost inflation were moderating following spikes in recent years.

“As a diverse multi-channel speciality bakery group with an ongoing investment programme, Finsbury is well placed to continue to drive efficiency, deliver innovation and maintain its leading position in the market, despite the wider market conditions,” stated the company in its update.

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