The speciality cake, bread and morning goods manufacturer, however, claimed it had recovered the costs through a combination of operational efficiency and price recovery. It remained confident of delivering profits in line with market expectations.
In a pre-close trading statement published today (16 July), the company reported total revenue for the year to 30 June down 3.4% to £303.6m.
That said, it claimed that the previous full-year’s revenue from the Grain D'Or business, which it closed in December 2017, meant the current year’s sales looked weak by comparison. Like-for-like sales excluding this factor had increased 2.4% to £290.2m, it said.
Core UK bakery division
The core UK bakery division grew 2.8% on a like-for-like basis, while the Group’s 50%-owned European business declined by 0.7%.
In the statement, Finsbury said the current UK economic environment remained challenging and was showing little sign of abating from the levels experienced and reported in previous statements.
Despite this, the board said Finsbury remained well positioned to maintain its market position, while a strong balance sheet would enable it to invest in innovation and efficiency. This, it claimed, would continue to deliver growth and improved shareholder value over the period ahead.
Finsbury Food Group chief executive John Duffy said: “We are pleased with the resilient performance of the group in what has once again been a period of market-wide inflationary pressure, illustrating that the work and investment undertaken in prior periods has continued to bear fruit.
‘Robust, well diversified, and in a strong position’
“The Group is robust, well diversified, and in a strong position to continue to deliver on its strategic objectives in the period ahead.”
Last year, group finance director Steve Boyd told Food Manufacture that high commodity prices and labour costs were a “constant attrition”, with little sign of respite in the near future.
In December, Finsbury closed its two London Grain D’Or factories with the loss of 250 jobs. The company said Grain D’Or’s failing performance reflected the competitive and cost challenges experienced across the industry.
Meanwhile, Premier Foods chief executive Gavin Darby faces a re-election vote at the company’s annual general meeting on Wednesday (18 July), after criticism from shareholder group Oasis Management.