The Real Good Food Company (RGFC) has reported mixed trading conditions, during its third-quarter trading period, with the lowering of prices in the sugar market affecting profitability at Napier Brown.

The firm said Ebitda had increased year-on-year at its ingredients businesses Renshaw and R&W Scott, as well as Haydens Bakery, which produces patisserie and desserts.

During the period from 1 October to 31 December 2013, RGFC said it had made good progress addressing the effect of “the well-publicised dramatic reduction in sugar market prices”, with a number of new supply sources, secured within the past three months. “We see sugar margins being fully restored during the course of 2014,” it said in its statement today (4 February).

Sales at its non-refining sugar distribution business Napier Brown have increased significantly in both the industrial and retail sectors, it said, with the commissioning of its new site at Immingham virtually complete.

Investment in sales and marketing was “beginning to pay dividends” at Renshaw, and it anticipated reporting a significant increase in Ebitda for the full year.

Investment has also been made at R&W Scott, with a full commercial team now in place, and plans to launch new products into the market in the next 18 months – the first of which will be a range of premium dessert sauces.

The firm added that Ebitda at Haydens was anticipated to increase year-on-year as sales continue to grow, “and the remodelling of the bakery enables improved labour utilisation”, said the firm.

Pieter Totté, executive chairman, said: “The investments which we have made in increased sales and marketing resources were designed to transform our businesses from being manufacturing-led to market-led and underpin our growth strategy.

“It is pleasing to see this strategy is now beginning to bear fruit: volumes are showing good growth in Napier, Renshaw and at Haydens, while we have now recruited sales and marketing teams to deliver similar momentum at R&W Scott and Garrett Ingredients.”

RGFC has also announced it has appointed former British Sugar managing director Gino De Jaegher as the group’s chief operating officer, with immediate effect.

Having left British Sugar in September 2012, De Jaegher joined RGFC in a consultancy role working alongside Totté on key strategic projects. In his new role, he will take responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the group, with the managing directors of each of the group’s five operating businesses reporting directly to him.