Fazer Group today (31 March) reported rising annual sales and profits, with the Finland-based company reporting improved earnings across a range of businesses.

Fazer said its net profit stood at EUR29.4m (US$31.4m), versus EUR19.4m in 2015. The company’s operating profit was up 19% at EUR52.7m.

“The profitability of Fazer Bakery, Fazer Confectionery, Fazer Food Services, Fazer Cafés and Fazer Mills improved from previous year,” the company said.

Sales increased by 2% to EUR1.6bn, with exchange rate changes trimming a percentage point of growth of Fazer’s top line.

“Growth in net sales was strongest in the foodservice operations in Denmark. Sales development was good also in the milling, bakery and confectionery operations in Finland as well as in the bakery shops in both Finland and Sweden,” the company said.

The group said its investments over the year including new production capacity amounted to nearly EUR105m. Fazer said it “continued investing in oats by acquiring the Frebaco mill in Sweden and by doubling its oats production capacity in Finland”. In June, Fazer bought the Keisari artisanal bakery in Finland and “declared its long-term intention to build a new bakery” in the St Petersburg region of Russia.

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President and CEO Christoph Vitzthum said: “We are continuing our growth strategy and are set for internationalisation with a new business area, Fazer Lifestyle Foods. We proceed with developing the group towards a modern, sustainable food company, building on high-quality nutrition and adjacent new businesses. Our ambition is to significantly grow this business with a broad international focus.”

Meanwhile, Fazer said Lara Saulo has been appointed senior VP for transformation and performance improvement and joins Fazer’s group management team. Saulo currently works at The Boston Consulting Group.

Earlier this month, Fazer snapped up Finnish dairy alternative business Bioferme – and set out its stall to invest more widely in non-dairy and plant-based products.