Gluten-free acquisition helps drive Finsbury Food sales higher

Shares in Finsbury Food Group have jumped as the bakery supplier hiked its dividend after sales accelerated in the second half of the year.

The supermarket and food service supplier saw pre-tax profits jump 203% to £13.6 million for the year to June 29.

Finsbury said it was boosted by surging sales towards the end of the year as it benefited from expanding its free-from business.

The company said it was buoyed by the gluten-free Ultrapharm business, which it snapped up for £17 million in September 2018.

Group revenue jumped 3.8% to £315.3 million for the year as it was boosted by 7.5% sales growth in the second half of the year, which was also boosted by key new contracts.

Finsbury said that the impact of “unprecedented” cost inflation on input prices has been more than offset by its new business wins.

John Duffy, chief executive of Finsbury Food Group, said: “In what has been a continued challenging market environment, our sales growth and increased dividend demonstrates our ability to navigate more challenging times and our continued confidence in the prospects of the group.

“Our achievements have been underpinned by our relentless focus on investment, efficiency and innovation, alongside our ability to harness the growth available from premium, healthy and authentic on-trend innovation.

“We are confident that the group is on a strong footing and able to drive further growth in the period ahead, as we continue to build a strong, lean, scale competitor and consolidator.”

Shares in the company rose 9.9% to 72p in early trading on Monday.

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