Finsbury’s operations director, Ian Chree, and site director, Ian Mayo, collected the award at the Food Manufacturing Excellence Awards (FMEAs), at the London Park Lane Hilton in a glittering award ceremony on the evening of November 20.
Highly competitive bakery sector
The FMEA awards’ independent judging panel – led by Paul Wilkinson, chair of National Skills Academy and chairman of Thorntons – praised Finsbury Food Group’s command of the highly competitive UK bakery sector.
“The Finsbury Food Group has proved itself a major force in the bakery sector, investing while others have been contracting,” said the judges. “The results speak for themselves, with impressive category management driving sales for both Asda and Tesco through a hotly contested category.”
Finsbury’s Cake Division is a leading manufacturer of premium and celebration cakes in Wales and Scotland supplying the big retailers. It has just under 2,000 employees and a turnover of £147M.
The business fought off stiff competition in the category – sponsored by Intertek – from shortlisted firms: Allied Bakeries, Border Biscuits, Ginsters, Hovis and Walker & Sons.
Greencore ceo Patrick Coveney
The coveted Food Personality of the Year title was won by Greencore ceo Patrick Coveney, while Dawn Meats won the over Food Manufacturing Company of the Year after first winning the Environmental initiative of the year category.
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Meanwhile, Finsbury sales rose to £57.3M for the first four months of its financial year, according to a trading update it posted on Wednesday (November 26).
Organic income climbed by 3.9% to reach £2.1M, as the business completed the acquisition of bread supplier Fletchers. Finsbury acquired the business for £56M last month from Vision Capital.
Chairman Peter Baker said the operating environment remained challenging, as shoppers continued to focus on value but the firm’s efficiency improvements will improve profits next year. “The actions taken last year to reduce overhead costs and reinvest in additional sales growth have been successful,” said Baker.
“The efficiency benefits of the ongoing capital investment programme are also now being successfully delivered, which will lead to an improvement in our operating margins during the course of this year and beyond.”