Cake supplier Inter Link Foods claimed it is now the UK’s number one own-label cake company and said it has set its sights on Europe, as it posted a 51.8% hike in half year turnover to £67.2million this week.

Chief executive Paul Griffiths also revealed to British Baker that the company’s next move, in 2007, will be into traditional British puddings: Christmas, treacle and similar, which will provide more foodservice opportunities alongside its sales to the multiples.

On the cakes front the supplier is looking at acquisition opportunities in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland following the successful acquisition of Polish cake company CMJ in Decem-ber 2004, said chief executive Paul Griffiths. It is seeking these acquisitions to boost its cake sales, both in the UK, where it eventually wants to be number one cake company overall, and in mainland Europe, he told British Baker. “When we acquired CMJ last year it had £5m turnover, from sales into mainland Europe. Under our ownership that has gone up to £12m this year. Repeating that model, can only be good news.”

With 400 million people living in mainland Europe, Inter Link could “hardly ignore the opportunity”, he said. But he emphasised that the UK is still its number one priority.

Inter Link believes it has overtaken rival RHM on the size of its own-label cakes business in the UK. “We supply all the major multiples with a wide product range,” said Mr Griffiths. “Given our scale, we believe we are now the UK’s number one supplier for own-brand cakes.”

Inter Link will continue to grow in the UK, both organically and by making additional acquisitions. It is talking to a number of interested parties, Mr Griffiths said. Inter Link has signed a lease on a second 30,000sq ft factory in Trafford Park in Manchester as it develops Soreen, which it claims is the country’s fourth biggest cake brand. It will build a similar sized plant alongside that to manufacture the puddings, due for launch in Christmas 2007, Mr Griffiths told British Baker.