Baker Finsbury Food Group posts sales and profit growth

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Finsbury has progressed its Operating Brilliance Programme
Finsbury has progressed its Operating Brilliance Programme

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Plant baker Finsbury Food Group has defied one of the toughest markets in living memory to record sales and profit growth, amid its continued Operating Brilliance Programme.

The cake, bread and morning goods manufacturer declared operating profit of £16.1m in the 52 weeks to 26 June, up from £14.9m in the previous year on sales up 2.3% to £313.3m. Retail sales had largely compensated for a drop in foodservice sales, the company said.

Finsbury spent £6.2m on capital projects across the year, including investment in a new frozen dough ball facility commissioned in Manchester and in additional 50% capacity in artisan bread production equipment.

New product development included free-from and vegan cakes, vegan doughnuts and a range of artisan gluten-free breads.

'Almost at pre-pandemic levels'

"It was incredibly pleasing to deliver such a robust financial performance with year-on-year revenue growth and a total sales figure almost at pre-pandemic levels, despite having to navigate such challenging circumstances over the period,"​ said chief executive John Duffy. "We have continued to introduce new initiatives, in line with our Operating Brilliance Programme, to enable the group to operate as a single, efficient organisation capable of scale execution. 

"I would like to thank all our people across the group for their continued hard work, determination and commitment through what has been a testing time for many of them and their families. Without the determination of our committed workforce, we wouldn't have been able to play a part in keeping food shelves stocked in the territories we serve and the whole team should be extremely proud of their contributions. 

"Whilst we are likely to face persistent challenges around inflation and skilled labour and driver shortages, our long-term growth ambitions remain unchanged. We are committed to making Finsbury an even more efficient and joined-up business, focused on driving synergies and scale benefits across the group."

'Wellness a major trend'

In his statement on the results, Duffy said: "Wellness remains a major trend and we continue to take steps to reduce salt and sugar to ensure all our products can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet. More than 98% of our products meet the salt content targets of the FSA​ [Food Standards Agency], and we continue to make good progress against Public Health England's sugar reduction ambitions with content down 12.4% on the previous year versus an 8.2% reduction this time last year. 

"From a brand portfolio perspective, we continued to go from strength to strength. In the period we were able to deepen our relationships with existing partners such as Mars and Diageo, while adding new ones such as TGI Fridays. The extension of our branded portfolio further in to sharing cake has supported the implementation of a robust strategy which is delivering significant category share growth with key customer partners.

"As part of our response to COVID, as well as mitigating the various risks, we continue to explore ways to address some of the emerging opportunities presented by the changing consumer landscape such as more at home lunchtime eating occasions. This will see the Group gradually step-up investment in specific areas of capacity and product capability in the new financial year."

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