Long live Disney: Branded birthday cakes boost Finsbury Food’s bottom line

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Blockbuster Disney movies have boosted Finsbury Food's profit margins. Pic: Finsbury Food
Blockbuster Disney movies have boosted Finsbury Food's profit margins. Pic: Finsbury Food

Related tags Finsbury foods Disney Mary Berry Gluten-free

The UK bakery supplier said it has seen a healthier second half of the year, boosted by an increase in demand for birthday cakes featuring characters from Disney’s blockbusters Toy Story 4, Avengers and Spider-Man.

A year ago, the company had reported that rising butter and egg prices had played havoc on its profit margins.

“I am also expecting strong demand for products in the current first half thanks to movies such as ​The Lion King and ​Frozen 2 being released during the period. Long may Disney keep up this strong output,”​ added Finsbury Food’s CEO John Duffy.

According to the AIM-listed, it also saw healthy sales from Mary Berry’s lemon drizzle cake, which sold at a rate of 2,400 a week over the past year.

Its bottom line was also enhanced with the launch of vegan brioche burger buns, the acquisition of gluten-free baker Ultrapharm​ for £17m ($21.12m) in September last year and the investment of automated individually wrapped cake bar technology for the release of a range of on-the-go snacks.

Finsbury posted annual profits of £13.5m, supported by a 3.8% increase in revenue to £315.3m ($391.8m) for the 12 months ended June 29.

Pretax profits soared 203% to £13.6m ($16.8m), due to a drop in non-recurring costs, while adjusted profit before tax was £15.9m ($19.7m), down 7.5% on last year.

Ebitda was flat at £25.5m ($31.6m).

Relentless focus

“In what has been a continued challenging market, our sales growth and increased dividend demonstrates our ability to navigate more challenging times and our continued confidence in the prospects of the group,”​ said Duffy.

“Our achievements have been underpinned by our relentless focus on investment, efficiency and innovation, alongside our ability to harness the growth available from premium, healthy and authentic on-trend innovation.”

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