Finsbury Foods has reported a modest increase in sales for the first half of the financial year.

The owner of the Genus free-from bread brand said sales increased 1.3% to £103.3m during the six months to 29 December.

The company’s cake business grew 2% and its free-from business also performed well, growing 7% to give sales of £27.4m.

However, Finsbury’s 50% owned joint venture business Lightbody Europe suffered a 17% drop in sales that it blamed on the strength of the pound against the euro.

Finsbury said operating margins improved slightly but remained low.

“Following last year’s significant sales growth ahead of the markets in which we operate, I am pleased with the resilient growth and efficiency improvements delivered in the first half,” said Finsbury CEO John Duffy.

 

Finsbury raised £3.9m in a share issue in November last year.

“November’s successful equity raise, the first for five years, will accelerate our efficiency investments in the largest cake business whilst also allowing us to meet our strengthened target balance sheet during 2013,” said Duffy.

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