Finsbury weathers challenging consumer environment

Finsbury weathers challenging consumer environment

UK cake maker Finsbury Food Group has posted stable first-half profits despite seeing sales slide during the period.

The company said today (23 March) that profits before tax totalled GBP1.8m for the six months to 2 January, unchanged from the comparable period of last year.

Profitability was boosted by lower financial expenses year-on-year as the group was able to reduce its net debt. During the period, Finsbury booked slightly lower financial expenses, down to GBP1.2m, down from GBP1.4m last year.

However, total sales slid 7% to GBP82.9m, the company revealed. On a like-for-like basis, excluding the impact of Finsbury's acquisition of  Goswell Enterprises last year and the additional trading week, sales were down GBP4.5m, or 5.2%.

Nevertheless, CEO John Duffy remained upbeat and insisted that the company had performed well in the challenging economic environment – particularly given its focus on “craft bakery” and premium products.

“The change in consumer behaviour may still be some time in coming, but we believe the group has coped well in delivering a sustained level of profitability in difficult market conditions and will emerge stronger as the economy picks up,” he said.

Finsbury said trading for the eight weeks since the half year end continues to be in line with management expectations.