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 an update on trading for the six months ended 26 December 2020 (H1).
The Group delivered a resilient trading performance against a continued challenging backdrop with total sales of GBP 152.9 million in H1, representing only a 4.1 percent decrease against a strong comparative period in 2019. This continues the strong progressive improvement since the initial lockdown in March 2020, where post lockdown actual sales from March to June, the final quarter of the 2020 financial year, were 18.9 percent lower than the equivalent period the year before.
This performance was driven by a positive retail channel performance (+1.7 percent) in the Group’s core UK Bakery division and Overseas (+0.6 percent), offset by the expected weaker trading in UK foodservice (-27.4 percent), which continues to be impacted by Government restrictions tightening over the last few months.
Continued strong cash generation and the previously referenced actions to control cash and costs across the Group have resulted in further debt reduction with period end net bank debt of GBP 21.5 million, down GBP 5.0 million from the year end.
Notwithstanding the challenges that remain as a result of the pandemic, given the Group’s resilient performance in the first half, the ongoing operational improvement initiatives, and especially the avoidance of a no deal Brexit outcome, the Board remains confident in delivering a full year performance in line with expectations.
The Group will announce its Interim Results, for the six months ended 26 December 2020, on Monday 22 February 2021.