Lees Foods PLC has posted a first half profit decrease from GBP346,021 (US$649,626) in the first half of 2005 to GBP228,783 for the same period this year, put down to increased operating costs.

Turnover at the manufacturer of confectionery products, meringues, other bakery products and ice cream cones and wafers, increased from GBP6.74m last year to GBP7.01m in 2005, with both Waverley and Lees of Scotland brands contributing to this increase.
The fall in profit was the result of the increased cost of rates, power and wages. 

Lees Food chairman Raymond Miquel said: “We have to absorb these additional costs as, due to the competitive nature of our business, it is difficult to increase prices to our customers.
“To develop the business we have continued to introduce new products and open up new markets and this policy will continue.  We have also looked at several acquisition opportunities and to date, for one reason or another, we have not proceeded with the purchase of another company.  I did report last year that we would only acquire a company which would be profitable and give us the possibility of expanding in the Food Industry.
“Looking ahead to the second six months of the year, we expect sales to be ahead of last year with a profit before tax down on last year’s figure but in line with our budgeted forecast.”