Finsbury Food Group has suffered what the company claims is the first annual fall in sales in the its history, as consumers turned to lower-value products over the recessionary period.

Unveiling its preliminary results for the year to 3 July, the UK’s second-largest cake-maker reported a 7% rise in pre-tax profits to £5.4m. But group revenue dropped 5.9% to £168.3m.

Sales revenue within its cake businesses, which includes the Memory Lane and Lightbody brands, slipped 9.7% year-on-year as consumers shifted away from premium products.

Finsbury’s bread and free-from business boosted sales by 14% to £43.7m, with its Genius gluten-free brand performing well.

Sales in the brand have topped £10m since its launch last year and it now holds a 25% share of the free-from bakery market, according to Nielsen data.

“As we head into a new financial year, the pace of progress is being maintained and I feel confident our continued investment in people, products and facilities will continue to serve us well,” said Finsbury chief executive John Duffy.

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