Dorset Cereals and Rowse honey owner Wellness Foods saw its losses drop in 2009 on the back of a 15% increase in sales.

The company, owned by racehorse owners JP McManus and John Magnier, booked a loss of GBP20.6m (US$32.7m) last year - against GBP25.6m in 2008.

Turnover reached GBP205.9m, up from the GBP178.8m posted in 2008, according to figures filed with Companies House.

Wellness Foods said sales rose "due to securing additional volume in the majority of its businesses and the full-year effect of price increases secured to offset raw material price inflation".

The business made an operating profit of GBP1.6m compared to an operating loss of GBP10.1m a year earlier.

Looking ahead, Wellness Foods added: "Given the current economic climate, we foresee that the food market will remain challenging. However, we consider our brand strengths and customer relationships to be such that an improved performance can be delivered."