StockMarketWire.com - Finsbury Food (FIF) said strong trading continued in the second half of the year.

The group is confident of delivering profits in line with market expectations, which were upgraded following the strong first half year.

Total company sales revenues grew to £319.7m, an increase of 24.8% on prior year (for the 52 week period, sales revenues were £313.5m, an increase of 22.4%), following the successful integration of the prior year acquisitions of Fletchers and Johnstone's.

This includes like for like growth of £12.8m, an increase of 5% versus prior year.

The UK bakery division grew by 3% on a like for like basis and the overseas division, the group's 50% owned European business, grew by 25.7%.

Sales to the foodservice channel accounted for 21% of total UK bakery sales revenues and grew by 5.3% on a like for like basis.

The second half performance of the company benefited from a growth in sales revenues typically ahead of the UK markets, the rate of growth against prior year was lower than the first half performance due to annualisation against strong sales in the second half of the prior year.

The significant year on year increase in capital investment, together with ongoing innovation and development of products and a focused people development strategy, positions the group for further growth organically or via acquisition.

While it is too early to fully understand the impact of the exit of Britain from the EU, the board believes that as a strong multi-channel business and a large diversified speciality bakery group, it is well equipped to manage the potential effects of this outcome and continue to deliver growth and improved shareholder value over the coming years.

Finsbury Food chief executive John Duffy said: "Delivering significant growth across all divisions on a like for like basis is a true achievement and we are very pleased to see our sales revenues ahead of the markets we operate in.

"This growth is underpinned by capital investment and our continued focus on innovation, maintaining our position as one of the UK's largest speciality bakery groups.

"More than ever we are well placed to continue our solid performance and drive growth."




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