UK: Finsbury profit surges but sales under pressure
Finsbury earnings rise, sales under pressure
Finsbury Food Group has booked an increase in first-half profits, which were boosted by the disposal of the group's free-from business and subsequent restructuring efforts.
The UK cake maker said operating profit rose 5% to GBP2.6m (US$4.3m), while pre-taax profit from continuing operations jumped 50.6% to GBP2.1m. The company reduced its net debt by 57% in the period.
CEO John Duffy said: "The sale of the free-from division, consequent group restructuring and capital investment have transformed the balance sheet and provided the group with the strong foundation on which it is operating."
However, Finsbury saw sales from continuing operations decrease 1.8% year-on-year, dipping to GBP86.6m.Duffy stressed that while the consumer environment remains "challenging" Finsbury believes "an improvement in consumer behaviour lies ahead".
Finsbury Food Group plc
Finsbury Food Group plc (AIM: FIF), a leading manufacturer of cake and speciality bread, is pleased to announce its interim results for the six months ended 28 December 2013.
· Operating profit up 5% to £2.6m (H1 2012: £2.5m)
· Group revenue from continuing operations down 1.8% to £86.6m (H1 2012: £88.2m)
· Profit before tax from continuing operations up 50.6% to £2.1m (H1 2012: £1.4m)
· Net debt down 57% to £11.8m (H1 2012: £27.4m)
· Proposed interim dividend of 0.25p per share (H1 2012: 0.25p per share)
· New cake slice 'snap pack' packaging format launched
· Snacking cake automation investment program on track for year end completion
· Nicholas & Harris bread facility expansion has been commissioned in January
· New Livlife Low Carb Bread progressing well
Commenting on the results, John Duffy, Chief Executive of Finsbury Food Group plc, said:
"I am pleased with the progress made in what has been a transitional year for the Group. The sale of the Free From division, consequent group restructuring and capital investment have transformed the balance sheet and provided the Group with the strong foundation on which it is operating.
"Whilst the trading environment remains tough in the short term, our low level of debt and interest costs allow us to make significant investment in our factories and businesses for the future, in line with our stated strategy. We believe that although the consumer markets remain challenging, an improvement in consumer behaviour lies ahead, and the Group is in a strong position to mitigate against these wider market challenges and focus on its strategy for growth."
Original source: Finsbury Food Group
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