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Finsbury Food Group (UB89)

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Monday 15 July, 2013

Finsbury Food Group

Pre-Close Trading Statement

RNS Number : 2615J
Finsbury Food Group PLC
15 July 2013


15 July 2013

On behalf of:

Finsbury Food Group plc ('Finsbury', 'the Company' or 'the Group')

Embargoed until: 0700hrs




Finsbury Food Group plc

Pre-Close Trading Statement


·      Profit expectations for the financial year ended June 2013 are significantly ahead of expectations

·      Debt and interest costs significantly reduced

·      Increased final dividend recommended


Finsbury Food Group plc (AIM: FIF), a leading manufacturer of cake and speciality bread, is today providing an update on trading for the full financial year, ended 29 June 2013, prior to entering its closed period on 23rd July.


Excluding Free From sales, the continuing Group like for like sales were in line with expectations. Whilst our consumer markets remain challenging, our continued focus on growth, in the right areas, combined with relentless cost and efficiency initiatives has enabled the Group to achieve improved operating margins year on year.


The successful £3.8m equity placing in the first half combined with the sale of the Free From division for £21m early in the second half has transformed the Company's balance sheet. Total debt is lower than expected at below £10m versus £34m a year ago. Consequently capital investment in our core UK Bakery division is now being stepped up significantly, providing both product capabilities led growth as well as improved cost competitiveness.


The Board is pleased to announce that profit expectations for the financial year ended June 2013 are significantly ahead of expectations, in part due to two additional months Free From  sales included between deal date and completion date at end February 2013 but also due to the initiatives set out above. Due to the Company's financial performance for the year, the Board will be recommending an increased final dividend of 0.5p giving a total dividend payment of 0.75p for the year.


John Duffy, Chief Executive of Finsbury Food Group plc, commented;


"I am pleased to be announcing that the hard work and improvements made in the business have allowed us to recommend an increased dividend for our shareholders. The Board believes that this, combined with the driving down of debt, increased profit expectations and continued growth, is further ensuring shareholder value.


"The sale of Free From has proven hugely beneficial for the Group, allowing further investment and laying the foundation for continued growth. The Board is committed to continuing the successes of the past year, and I am confident that our improvements will assure shareholders and consumers alike of the Company's fortitude and resilience in what continue to be adverse trading conditions."



- ENDS -



For further information:

Finsbury Food Group plc                               

John Duffy (Chief Executive)                         

029 20 357 500

Stephen Boyd (Finance Director)                  

Cenkos Securities plc


Bobbie Hilliam (Corporate Finance)

Alex Aylen (Sales)

Redleaf Polhill

[email protected]

Emma Kane/Rebecca Sanders-Hewett/       

020 7 382 4730

Jenny Bahr


Publication quality photographs are available via Redleaf Polhill on the numbers shown above



Notes to Editors:


§ Finsbury Food Group plc (AIM: FIF), is a leading manufacturer of cake, bread and bakery goods. Within its Cake business, the Group's focus is premium and celebration cakes plus low fat cake slices. Its Bread business manufactures artisan and organic bread and also morning goods.

§ Finsbury Food Group is the second largest manufacturer of Ambient Packaged Cake (excluding In Store Bakery) in the UK, a market valued at £901m (Source: Kantar Worldpanel Total UK Coverage, June 2013).

§ The Group's strategy is to generate returns for shareholders by building a crafted bakery group focused on premium, celebration and well being that delivers for customers and consumers. Finsbury continues to develop its licensed brand portfolio to complement its core retailer brand relationships and improve its understanding of and response to changing consumer needs.

§ Whilst the Company sees exciting organic growth opportunities in all its businesses and its short-term focus is on integrating and growing its existing businesses, the aim is to take advantage of the appropriate bolt on acquisitions to drive longer term value as opportunities and circumstance allow.


This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange

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