Year-on-year sales at Memory Lane Cakes are up 3.3% and have risen 15% at speciality bread producer Nicholas & Harris after 20 weeks of Finsbury Food Group’s financial year. All the growth at Memory Lane has come in the latter half of that period, after a quiet summer.

The group’s The Best at What We Do Focus that targets a dominant position in premium cakes is also progressing well, according to chairman Lord Saatchi, speaking at the company’s annual general meeting on 29 November.

The revamped retailer-branded premium cake ranges of Tesco Finest and Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference are both performing strongly and a second phase of development has started. Similar development activity is underway with three other retailers, with a further launch imminent.

Good progress is said to have been made in implementing the recovery programme at the West Lothian factory of United Central Bakeries following the fire on 31 October. The loss is fully insured and payments have been made to enable replacement equipment to be ordered.

Prospects for Finsbury remain "encouraging" and the group says it is looking to the rest of the year with confidence.