AIM-listed cake and bread maker Finsbury Food posted a 6% jump in interim profit on Monday as revenue edged higher despite "market-wide headwinds".
In the 26 weeks to 30 December 2017, pre-tax profit rose to £8.4m from £7.9m in the same period a year ago, as revenue increased 0.7% to £157.8m, or 2.5% to £144.8m on a like-for-like basis.
Group operating profit was up 4.7% to £8.7m and the company declared an interim dividend of 1.1p per share, up 10% on 2016.
In the UK bakery division, revenue was up 1.1% to £140.5m while operating profit rose 7.4% to £7.3m. In the overseas business, which comprises Lightbody Europe, revenue fell 2.1% to £17.3m in the first half of 2017, while operating profit increased to £1.2m from £1m.
Finsbury said it had delivered these results against a backdrop of commodity and exchange rate
driven inflationary headwinds and a consequentially challenging grocery environment.
During the year, Finsbury closed its loss-making bakery, while its new "state of the art" cake line is now fully operational. It also secured a new five-year £45m revolving credit facility.
Chief executive John Duffy said: "Our revenue and profit growth in the period illustrates the group's resilience to what has been a sustained period of market-wide headwinds. The investment into the business that we have implemented over this and previous years, alongside a focus on operational excellence has positioned us well and enabled us to continue to deliver robust results. This, alongside the strength of our balance sheet has underpinned our ability to increase our interim dividend.
"The headwinds will persist into the period ahead, but we are determined to deliver against our strategic objectives and continue to drive growth both organically and through acquisition. With our resilient and diversified group, by category, channel and geography, we are confident that we will continue to deliver steady progress in the period ahead."
At 1010 GMT, the shares
were up 0.3% to 116.39p.