Maple Leaf Foods’ UK bakery business was one of the star performers highlighted by senior executives of its parent company, as it announced third-quarter results for the Canadian-based food giant last week.
Michael McCain, president and chief executive, said that improved bakery results had been "mostly driven by improved performance in our frozen bakery and the UK bakery as a result of successive acquisitions in that market".
Maple Leaf UK, acquired premium breads supplier La Fornaia in an £18.75 million deal in August. McCain said the company was "very excited" about the acquisition and that it would enable it to continue to "perform very well".
He added: "We’ve had both high levels of organic growth and contribution from acquisitions that continue to drive the results in the UK bakery business." He said the recent acquisition of the French Croissant Company had also given Maple Leaf a leading share of the UK ambient croissant market.
Reporting an operating earnings increase of 14% to $39m over three months, McCain warned that rising wheat prices - up 75% in four months and up 49% year-on-year - had created "significant volatility". He said that this affected the flour cost in its fresh and frozen bakery and pasta businesses. This type of environmental volatility is unprecedented in our industry and our business," added McCain.
Maple Leaf UK is a division of Canada Bread Company, which is 88% owned by Maple Leaf Foods. It won Bakery Food Manufacturer of the Year, sponsored by ADM, at British Baker’s Baking Industry Awards 2007.