Top mince pie maker hopes for festive boom

By Catherine Boal

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Inter link, Christmas

Cake maker Inter Link Foods is relying on the predicted Christmas
boom to revive flagging sales after a summer slump.

The UK's largest mince pie producer - it is expected to sell 140 million this year - issued an upbeat trading statement this week.

In common with many bakers throughout the UK, the pudding supplier is expecting the luxury holiday season to pick-up waning sales damaged by this summer's heat and predict full year sales to meet expectations.

Executive chairman Alwin Thompson said: "While we did experience a slowdown in sales in the first half of the year, we remain optimistic that we will see significant sales growth in the second half of the year.

"We are therefore confident that the results for the full year will be in line with market expectations."

After talks over a possible private buy-out of the company fell through this year, the cake maker has said it will concentrate on expanding existing European-wide operations and future acquisitions.

In July, Inter Link recorded a 20.7 per cent growth in profits to £7.1m (€10.3m) but a 3.3 per cent drop in like for like cake sales due to this summer's unseasonably warm weather.

In a bid to further increase its hold on the market, Inter Link plan to enter the pudding sector this year. It will produce both Christmas and all-year puddings under the Mrs Peeks brand. The facilities for this new line are predicted to open in spring 2007.

The company has bought more than 10 cake makers since 1994, including Soreen with its Maltloaf brand, and has strengthened its relationship with private label retailers.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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