Warburtons said the bakery market declined in both value and volume during the year

Warburtons said the bakery market declined in both value and volume during the year

UK baker Warburtons has booked a drop in full-year profits as the firm was hit by increased raw material costs and a declining bakery market.

Pre-tax profit for the year to 24 September slumped 38% to GBP16.3m (US$25.4m), while operating profit slid 41.9% to GBP25.5m.

Sales in the period, however, edged up 0.6% to GBP495m.

The director's report said: "Trading was not as strong as in the previous year. Trading conditions worsened during the year and the bakery market declined in both value and volume."

Warburtons last week saw its managing director Robert Higginson step down from his role after 11 years with the business to "pursue other interests". This followed the departure of marketing director Richard Hayes in February.

The company, however, has been looking to expand into Europe with product trials that began this month.

In a statement today, the company said the results were "in line with expectations" and viewed the outcome as "satisfactory in an increasingly challenging economic environment".

"We are committed to growing our share of the market in the UK and to support this ambition, have invested in a number of projects, including our export, snacks and free from businesses, which we anticipate will contribute positively in the future," chairman and CEO Jonathan Warburton said.