The UK's Finsbury Food has reported higher first-half turnover and profit, and gave a positive outlook for the rest of the year.

The company, whose subsidiaries include Memory Lane Cakes and Nicholas & Harris speciality breads, said turnover was £29.2m (US$55.4m) for the first half to 31 December 2004, compared to £27.7m a year earlier.
 
Profit before tax and exceptional items was £0.7, compared to a loss of £0.3m in the same period of the previous year. Profit after exceptional items and before tax during the period was £2.5m, compared to a loss of £0.3m a year earlier.

Finsbury Food said Memory Lane Cakes successfully completed its 2004 Christmas programme, producing a group of higher margin core products, more efficiently and more profitably.

"Our Nestlé programme is progressing as expected. We have a strategy of targeted product development and we are currently introducing an exciting new range of around ten new products, including chocolate enrobed snacks, and range extensions to the initial products launched in 2004," the company said.

Finsbury Food also said its speciality breads business, Nicholas & Harris, is performing ahead of expectations. Work is due to be completed this month on an extension to increase the capacity of the site.

"The outlook for the remainder 2005 and 2006 is positive, even though the market place remains competitive.  Operationally, we are more efficient and productive. We continue to enjoy strong relationships with our blue chip retail customer base and we are discussing growth agendas with all our major customers," the company added.