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Staff and driver shortages to remain ‘persistent challenges’, says cake maker

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The company behind Mary Berry’s branded line of cakes expects to face “persistent challenges” from a shortage of skilled workers and drivers, its boss said.

Finsbury Food Group said pre-tax profit had grown around sixfold to £17 million as its retail arm grew strongly.

Revenue grew 9.1% in the first six months of 2021 – the second half of Finsbury’s financial year.

Across the 12 months, revenue grew 2.3% to £313.3 million.

Chief executive John Duffy appeared confident the business could weather recent trouble that has hit much of the UK economy.

“Whilst we are likely to face persistent challenges around inflation and skilled labour and driver shortages, our long-term growth ambitions remain unchanged,” he said.

“We are committed to making Finsbury an even more efficient and joined-up business, focused on driving synergies and scale benefits across the group.”

It comes after a year when Finsbury invested £6.2 million in a series of new projects, including a frozen dough ball factory in Manchester.

It also launched a set of vegan doughnuts and a new range of gluten-free bread.

“It was incredibly pleasing to deliver such a robust financial performance with year-on-year revenue growth and a total sales figure almost at pre-pandemic levels, despite having to navigate such challenging circumstances over the period,” Mr Duffy said.

“I would like to thank all our people across the group for their continued hard work, determination and commitment through what has been a testing time for many of them and their families.

“Without the determination of our committed workforce, we wouldn’t have been able to play a part in keeping food shelves stocked in the territories we serve and the whole team should be extremely proud of their contributions.”

Shares in the company rose by a little over 1% on Monday morning.

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