Finsbury Food has achieved half-year sales of more than £100m for the first time, after reporting a 16% increase in sales for the period.

Turnover for the six months to 31 December stood at £102m after UK cake and bread sales grew 10%, ‘free from’ sales increased 8% and Lightbody Europe, Finsbury’s 50% owned joint venture, grew 167%.

Despite the double-digit sales growth, Finsbury said its operating margin was lower than the equivalent period last year due to increases in commodity costs.

“Commodity inflation remains very high year-on-year and this continues to depress our already low operating margins,” said Finsbury chief executive John Duffy.

The trading update was greeted positively by investors, with Finsbury’s share price continued in its upward path, rising 2.5% in morning trading today.

“Over the past 12 months Finsbury’s shares have increased by 18%, which we believe reflects the progress being made at returning the business to top-line growth and strengthening its balance sheet,” said Panmure analyst Graham Jones.