Finsbury Food: FY 2020-2021 Pre-Close Trading Update

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, is today providing an update on trading for the full financial year, ending 26 June 2021, prior to entering its close period ahead of the preliminary announcement on 20 September 2021.

The Group delivered a strong second half performance, as outlined in the Group’s 26 May 2021 trading update, with H2 revenues up 9.1 percent against the corresponding period in the prior year despite further Covid unlocking delays. This strong performance has resulted in revenues for the year increasing 2.3 percent to GBP 313.3 million (2020: GBP 306.3 million), which is almost at pre-pandemic levels (FY19: GBP 315.3 million).

Revenue in the Group’s core division, UK Bakery, increased 0.8 percent for the full year, driven by a strong second half with H2 revenues up 6.8 percent versus the prior year. The recovery of the Group’s foodservice business has continued although slower than expected due to ongoing Covid restrictions.

The Group’s Overseas division delivered an extremely positive performance in the second half versus the corresponding period in the prior year, which was negatively impacted by earlier implementations of Covid lockdowns across Europe. This, combined with an earlier recovery than in the UK, resulted in revenues in H2 2021 increasing 27.4 percent versus H2 2020. Overseas revenues for the full year were up 13.4 percent against the prior year.

The Group’s Operating Brilliance Programme continued to drive improvements in cost and cash performance with a significant strengthening of the Group’s net bank debt position by year end to GBP 13.1 million, a reduction of GBP 8.4 million from 26 December 2020.

Chief Executive John Duffy said: «It is testament to the hard work and commitment of our teams that we have been able to successfully manage and adapt the business under challenging circumstances, resulting in year-on-year revenue growth and a total sales figure almost at pre-pandemic levels.

«Our Retail business performed very well and while our foodservice business has continued to be impacted by Covid-related restrictions, the performance of the division has continued to improve on a quarter-by-quarter basis since the outset of the pandemic. We are pleased with the resilience the Group has shown.

«Looking ahead, while the current operating environment continues to experience near-term uncertainty amidst challenging economic conditions, assuming trading conditions continue to normalise, we are confident in our ability to make further progress in the current financial year and in being able to deliver on our longer-term growth ambitions.»