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Real Good Food Company on track for ‘critical’ Christmas period despite profit drops

By Kacey Culliney , 13-Nov-2012

RGFC on track for 'critical' Christmas trading
RGFC on track for 'critical' Christmas trading

Operating profits dropped in two of the Real Good Food Company’s (RGFC) bakery businesses – Haydens and R&W Scott – but analysts say the group is on track entering the critical Christmas period.

The UK-based diversified food group, comprised of bakery, sugar and dairy businesses, posted its half-year results today. It pulled in revenues of £137.8m ($218.7m) for the six months ending September 30 2012, up 7.5% from the same period last year.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was slightly down on the same period last year, at £3.02m ($4.79m).

Its sweet bakery business Haydens saw a profit loss of just over half a million (£572,000) – or $907,878. This, the group said, was because the recovery plan for the business had taken longer than anticipated.

“We are taking action across the business and remain confident that the second half of the year will see a significant improvement in performance, with the business moving into profitability,” RGFC said.

Similarly, R&W Scotts – its bakery ingredients and jams business – recorded a £3,000 ($4,767) loss in operating profits.

Critical Christmas period

Equities research firm Shore Capital said: “The results on face value highlight a broadly flat profit performance year-on-year but in our view that disguises the progress the group has made as it enters the key trading period ahead of Christmas.”

The firm’s executive chairman, Pieter Totté, remained confident on progress: “We enter the critical Christmas trading period with all businesses in a strong position to maximise commercial opportunities.”

“At the same time we continue to develop our medium term growth plans, and I am confident the group will deliver results for the year as a whole in line with market expectations,” Totté continued.

Group breakdown

RGFC’s independent European sugar distribution business Napier Brown saw sales surge 11% - a rise underpinned by a strong industrial demand during the period, according to Shore Capital.

RGFC said its customers in the industrial sector were attracted by the long-term, multi-sourcing strategy it has.

The group’s dairy arm, Garrett Ingredients, saw increased revenues and tonnage and investments were successful in broadening its portfolio.

Its bakery ingredients business, Renshaw, has been redefined – with a new focus on the expert sugar-craft market and a new online sales channel is being formed.

“Research in a number of countries has confirmed the potential for the brand and its product range, while the online route to market will give the brand the ability to engage directly with many of its customers,” the group said.

Totté previously told BakeryandSnacks.com that the move into this sector was a ‘new departure’ but one that the firm was ready for. See HERE .

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