Finsbury has its cake and eats it

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

Duffy: sale of 'free-from' business has proven 'hugely beneficial for the group'
Duffy: sale of 'free-from' business has proven 'hugely beneficial for the group'

Related tags: Finsbury food group, Finance, Bread

Finsbury Food Group is stepping up investment in its core UK bakery division as it slashes debt and announces strong profits in an annual pre-close financial statement.

Cash would be pumped into the business to boost growth by enhancing product capabilities and cost competitiveness, the company stated in its pre-close statement for the year ended June 29.

In addition, Finsbury said the sale of its ‘free-from’ foods division to Genius Foods for £21M​ early in the second half of the year had “transformed the company’s balance sheet”​.

Total debt £10M

Total debt was now £10M, versus £34M a year ago, which, together with a successful equity placing of £3.8M, had freed up the firm to plough money back into its operations, it said.

As a result, it claimed profit for the financial year was significantly ahead of expectations and, excluding the ‘free-from’ business, like-for-like sales would meet expectations.

“The sale of ‘free-from’ has proven hugely beneficial for the group, allowing further investment and laying the foundation for continued growth,”​ said Finsbury chief executive John Duffy.

‘Fortitude and resilience’

“The board is committed to continuing the successes of the past year, and I am confident that our improvements will assure shareholders and consumers alike of the company’s fortitude and resilience in what continue to be adverse trading conditions.”

Finsbury Food Group is the second largest manufacturer of ambient packaged cake in the UK. Its focus is premium and celebration cakes and low-fat slices and it makes products licensed from brands including Thorntons, Disney and Marvel.

It also makes artisan and organic bread and morning goods.

Short-term focus is on integrating and growing existing businesses, but over the longer term, Finsbury said it continued to keep an eye on growth through acquisitions.

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