Alwin Thompson, the executive chairman of Inter Link Foods, has warned that while the group's trading performance in May and June was ahead of expectations, hot weather in July depressed cake and pastry sales.

Speaking at the Annual General Meeting today (8 September) Thompson said: "Record temperatures during the month of July resulted in consumers changing their normal purchases to products more suited to the hot weather, and therefore the overall cake market's performance during the month declined. Consequently, in July, we experienced a slow down in sales resulting in the like for like sales in our manufacturing operations being down 3.3% for the 1st quarter."

Thompson remained up-beat on the company's trading outlook for the crutial Christmas period. "We reported in July that we anticipated enjoying a strong Christmas season and I am pleased to confirm that orders across all of our customers for Christmas lines are well up on last year. Mince pies, Christmas themed celebration and gift cake orders show good increases over the prior year and are in line with expectations," Thompson told investors.

The company predicted a strong second half, as cake sales have become increasingly seasonal in nature.

"We continue our investment in new product development, the life blood of our business, and in new people who bring experience, knowledge and new skills to drive the business forward.

"Present indications are that our results for the current financial year will be in line with market expectations and I am confident that we can look forward to another successful year," Thompson concluded.

Although Inter Link shares experienced a slight blip following the announcement, dropping to  a low of 365 pence, they have bounced back and were up 3.33% from an open of 372.5 pence to 391.5 pence at time of press.