Commenting on the results, Panmure Gordon and Company’s Matthew Webb said: “We believe that Finsbury is materially outperforming within the foodservice channel. Its foodservice exposure is relatively favourable, with some of its customers trading well (e.g. in the fast-food sector) and others proving relatively resilient (e.g. in the public sector).”
The company reported continued double digit sales growth in artisan sourdough breads.
Tempered by Government restrictions
Finsbury chief executive John Duffy said that while overall recovery continued to be tempered by the adverse impact of tighter government restrictions on foodservice, he was confident the division will bounce back when trading conditions normalise, particularly when the public sector reopens.
“As we move into the second half, we maintain our focus on delivering organic growth, capitalising on the emerging trends in areas such as artisan and Free From and continuing to leverage our leading position in more established areas such as cake bites and buns & rolls,” he continued.
“The current operating environment continues to be characterised by near-term uncertainty and a challenging economic backdrop that is likely to remain for some time, but a combination of progress in the roll-out of the vaccine and the avoidance of a 'no deal' Brexit provides comfort around the Group's medium-term prospects.”
For the six months ended 26 December 2020, the group reported group revenue down 4.1% to £152.9m compared to the same period in the previous year. Group profit before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation fell by 9.8% to £13.1m compared to the previous year.
Finsbury reported improvement since the initial lockdown, with retail up +1.7% and foodservice down -27.4%, against -8.8% and -61.0% down respectively for the quarter following the initial lockdown.
Gross margin increased to 33.1% driven by improvement in factory operational efficiency accompanied by significant reduction in waste, in line with Finsbury’s ‘Operating Brilliance Programme’.
However, operating profit decreased by 16.6% year-on-year in its UK bakery business.
Finsbury’s long-term growth ambitions remained unchanged, with progress being made behind the scenes to make Finsbury a more efficient and joined-up business.