The Real Good Food Group said it hopes for “a bit of stability” in 2006, after a busy 2005.

Chief executive John Gibson told British Baker the company had set itself stretching targets for 2005 in its Bakeries division (Hayden’s Bakeries and Seriously Scrumptious Cakes). It was also challenged by integrating acquisitions Napier Brown Foods and its Renshaw business.

Hayden’s Bakeries’ volumes were 50% up on 2004, when the business was acquired. However, it “didn’t quite meet” stretching targets. The process of getting products to market took longer than expected, he said. “Perhaps there was a bit of over optimism on our side”, Mr Gibson added.

The Napier Brown dry ingredients division performed well against a background of a very competitive sugar market, with strong volume sales. But Renshaw "didn’t quite hit targets”, due to restructuring of manufacturing operations. “In the midst of change perhaps our eye was taken off our objectives a little. In a calm market things might have been handled differently”, Mr Gibson said. Two new senior managerial appointments have now been made at Renshaw.

For RGFG 2006 will be “very much about sticking to our knitting”, he said. However the company will make more acquisitions in the food sector over the next five years as it grows.

The £300m turnover RGFG said it expects to report a profit before exceptional items of £7m for 2005 in a trading update for the year to December 31 2005 this week. This is below its target of £7.7m. Interim results will be announced in March.