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September 28, 2011

UK: Raw material costs hit Lees Foods profits

Higher input costs have weighed on half-year profits at UK baker and confectioner Lees Foods.

By Dean Best

Higher input costs have weighed on half-year profits at UK baker and confectioner Lees Foods.

The company said today (28 September) that its profit reached GBP311,000 (US$486,000) in the six months to the end of June, down from GBP404,000 a year earlier. Operating profit fell 25% to GBP430,000.

Revenue increased 6% to GBP10.2m but pressure from commodity costs hit Lees Foods’ profits.

“There has been a natural time lag in the process to mitigate the impact of these increases,” chief executive Clive Miquel said. “However, the steps we took to address this issue earlier in the year have been successful.”

Miquel added: “We are very pleased with the results for the first half of this year especially the increase in sales to our key customers.”

The Lees chief said the “biggest challenge in the short and medium term” would be the rising price of sugar.

However, he said: “Looking ahead to the full year performance, despite the raw material cost increases experienced in the first six months and the potential for further cost increases, we expect pre-tax profits to be well ahead of current market forecasts.”

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