The Real Good Food Company this week said that overall trading "exceeded expectations" last year, although Hayden’s performance, part of its bakery division, had fallen short of predicted levels.

According to the group’s pre-close statement, released January 16, the bakery division’s sales were up by 6%. The division includes Hayden’s Bakeries and Seriously Scrumptious, producing chilled and ambient patisserie and dessert products. However, profit was eaten into because of increased labour and overhead costs, it said. Costs were also up as a result of new customer and product introductions.

In its first full year under Real Good Food’s ownership, Renshaw’s performance was "in line with expectations" with continuing sales up by 2%. Renshaw makes marzipans, ready-to-roll icings, baking chocolate and jam, supplying cake manufacturers, high street bakers and retailers.

Sugar supplier Napier Brown Foods increased sales steadily throughout the year. According to the statement, margins have remained tight, but progress was made on a number of fronts particularly in the retail sales sector and on bagged special sugars.

The company expects profit in 2006 to be approximately £9.3m.