Finsbury battled deflation during year

Finsbury battled deflation during year

UK baker Finsbury Food Group said today (17 July) it remained "confident" it would book annual profits "in line with market expectations" despite deflation in the market weighing on the company's top line.

In a pre-close trading update for the year to 1 July, Finsbury said its annual revenues hit GBP314.3m (US$410.9m), up 0.3% on a like-for-like basis, a metric that stripped out a 53rd week of trading from the previous year's numbers. Excluding the impact of currency, like-for-like revenues decreased 1.1%.

Finsbury said its UK bakery arm saw its like-for-like revenues slip 1.4% "against a backdrop of UK retail food market deflation".

The company said the sales performance of its UK bakery division improved during the course of the year. In the first six months of the period, like-for-like sales dropped 2.9% year-on-year. In the second half, Finsbury's UK bakery like-for-likes inched up 0.1%.

The group's smaller overseas division, in which it owns a 50% stake, grew by 17.3%. Stripping out exchange rates, Finsbury's overseas sales were up 2.2%.

Finsbury is not set to announce its full financial results until September. However, alongside the disclosure of its revenues, the company said it is "confident of delivering profits in line with market expectations".

John Duffy, Finsbury's chief executive, added: "The hard work undertaken in prior periods has ensured that we have maintained our course, with the benefits of having a diversified business across channels and geography coming to the fore. Considering the pressures the industry faces, we are very pleased to have grown revenue and are confident that the group is well positioned to maintain its strong market position and continue to deliver shareholder returns."