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Finsbury: announces H1 Trading Update FY 2017-2018

London / UK. (ffg) British Finsbury Food Group PLC, a leading UK speciality bakery manufacturer of cake, bread and morning goods for both the retail and foodservice channels, announces that it has performed in line with management expectations in this update on trading for the six months ended 30 December 2017 (H1).

Total Group sales revenues, including the discontinued Grain D’Or business, were 157.8 million GBP during H1, representing a 0.7 percent increase in comparison to the equivalent prior year period.

Sales revenues attributed to the continuing businesses grew by 2.5 percent to 144.8 million GBP, with the UK Bakery division growing by 3.2 percent and the Overseas division, the Group’s 50 percent owned European business, declining by 2.1 percent. This demonstrates the positive impact of the Group’s strategic diversification. These businesses now represent the Group’s core operations on entering the second half of the Group’s financial year and notably, this growth was achieved even with a slightly reduced range of Christmas products. With this in mind, the Board believes that its activities during the period position the Group well for a solid performance for the rest of the financial year and beyond.

During the period, the Group maintained its long-term focus on upholding value for consumers and cost competitiveness for customers by investing a further 4.9 million GBP from its strong cashflow in initiatives which drive efficiency and productivity. Given the previously reported headwinds which are facing the industry, this proven strategy is focused on offsetting increases in the Group’s cost base.

The Board has built the Group into a diverse multi-channel speciality bakery group. Following the exceptional growth and diversification over the prior years, the business is well placed to maintain its position, despite the market conditions. As such, the Board believes it is well equipped to continue to deliver growth and improved shareholder value over the coming years.