Inter Link reports cake sale rise

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The meteoric rise of Inter Link Foods continues as the company
confirmed its status as Britain's thrid biggest cake-maker by
announcing another sales increase since April.

The company's overall sales for the four-month period to 31 August 2004 were 31 per cent ahead of those for a similar period last year. Like-for-like product sales were up 15 per cent on last year's figures.

Inter Link non-executive chairman Jeremy Hamer announced the results at the company's Annual General Meeting held in Blackburn on Friday. The news tied in neatly with the company's 10th birthday celebrations which took place last week.

The growth consolidates Inter Link's place among the UK's top three cake producers. The company, which manufactures private label, branded and licensed cake products, was formed in April 1994 after taking over the loss-making business of Crossfield Foods in Blackburn. In May this year, Inter Link reported its fifth successive year of record turnover, profits and earnings per share.

The company's Oldham bakery makes more than 115 million chocolate mini-rolls every year. Other best-selling products include Soreen Malt loaf, buns and Bakewell tarts.

Hamer said:"From those early beginnings, we now have nine businesses which, in the last financial year, produced profits of £5 million (€7.3m) on a turnover of just under £70 million."

He put this year's early success down to "a mixture of strong organic growth, well-targeted acquisitions and the excellent team of people that work within the group".

The company's most recent acquisitions were the Hoppers Farmhouse Bakery, which it bought for £5 million (€7.3 million), and the licence for all Disney-branded small cakes in January 2004.

Another key factor in Inter Link's growth has been its development of new production techniques. The company's Shadsworth bakery in Blackburn recently installed what Hamer described as "one of the largest and most efficient pie making plants in Europe"​.

Mince pie production at Shadsworth began last week and the company aims to make 65 million between now and Christmas.

"I am confident that we can look forward to another successful year,"​ said Hamer, who will take up the position of deputy chairman today as part of a boardroom shuffle which will also see Paul Griffiths appointed as chief executive.

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