UK baker Warburtons has reported a fall in profits for the 2014-15 financial year against a backdrop of continued “difficult trading conditions and volume decline in the wider bakery market”.

Warburtons said operating profit for the 52 weeks ended 26 September 2015 fell by 2.4% before exceptional items to GBP35.4m (US$45.7) from GBP36.3m previously. The company said this was “mainly due to the pressure on gross profit margin in our core product areas”. Profit before tax of GBP38.7m was lower than the previous period profit before tax of GBP78.3m. 

Turnover increased by 0.7% to GBP551.5m.

Warburtons said the results were in line with expectations and that the board “views the outcome as satisfactory in the current economic environment”.

The baker said the main focus of the business will focus on “growing the share of the bakery market in Great Britain”, which it said would depend on developing new product ranges “alongside our current market leading lines”. “The new Bagel Thins production line was introduced to further broaden our range of bakery products following the success of Sandwich Thins in previous years.”

Gluten-free sales have continued to grow “and we will look to introduce further new products to meet the increasing consumer demand in this area”, Warburtons said.

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By GlobalData

Chairman Jonathan Warburton said: “Our performance has remained stable… the performance reflects our continued focus on breakthrough innovation, quality and service in a very competitive marketplace.”

Mr Warburton said: “As the number one bakery brand in Britain, we are committed to growing our share of the bakery market by developing new products alongside our current leading lines. Our continued investment in our people and infrastructure ensures we are focused on meeting the needs of changing consumer trends.  This focus, along with our family ownership structure, means we are uniquely positioned to invest for the long term – making decisions today that we believe will contribute positively in the future.”