Finsbury Food Group has issued an upbeat trading statement including a positive report of the first few months’ contribution from its recent acquisition Lightbody Group.

The baked goods group reported that trading “has remained strong in all subsidiaries”, with “excellent growth” in sales combined with good operational efficiency.

The company said that sales of its Memory Lane Cakes brand had grown by 10% year-on-year, with sales of the Nicholas and Harris lines up 17%. In addition, the turnover of the Scottish cake businesses of California Cakes and Campbells Cakes was up by a combined 28% for the 32 weeks to June 2007, Finsbury said today (28 June).

Finsbury added that the performance of Lightbody had been ahead of expectations. “Trading for the four months under the group’s ownership has been buoyant with sales of ‘bite-products’ and the Thornton’s branded cake range being particularly positive,” the company said. “The post-acquisition integration has been progressing to plan with the initial signs remaining positive at this stage.”

The company confirmed that, in line with the terms of the acquisition agreement, and as a result of the excellent performance, the maximum deferred consideration payment of GBP8.70m (US$17.42m) would be paid to the vendors.

“Bringing The Finsbury Group together with Lightbody in February was a transformational move,” said CEO Dave Brooks. “The first four months have shown a real willingness from the businesses to work together and an appetite from our customers for combining the wider offering that the group can now provide into complete category solutions. Our core markets are all experiencing growth and I am excited about the ideas and opportunities that are being generated.”

The company added that its United Central Bakeries subsidiary is now close to returning to full production after being severely damaged by fire last October.