UK confectioner and baker Lees Foods has lowered its first-half profit forecast on the back of rising input costs.

The company said today (28 July) that it had taken steps to mitigate rising commodity prices but admitted there had been a “natural time lag” in the process, which means pre-tax profits for the first half are “likely to be lower than last year”.

However, the group, which owns Lees of Scotland and The Waverley Bakery, added that it remains “optimistic” for the second half of 2011 and is “confident of achieving current market forecasts for the full year”.

The announcement came as the company booked a 6% increase in group sales for the six months ended 30 June to reach GBP10.2m (US$16.6m). It said the demand for the Lees range of products “continues to be particularly strong” and the company is “pleased to report record sales for the first half of the year”.