Glisten off to a good start

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Glisten, the UK confectionery group, has started the 2005 financial
year with a bang, with turnover for the first four months some 45
per cent ahead of last year, company chairman Jeremy Hamer told
shareholders at the firm's AGM earlier today.

While most of the increase has come from the spate of acquisitions over the last 12 months - Glisten has acquired Sunya, F. Fravigar and House of York since October last year - it has also continued to push up volume sales, supplying an ever broader range of British retail operators with own label and branded goods.

As a result, like-for-like turnover for the first four months of the year was ahead by 8 per cent, Hamer said. The major UK retail chains account for around 30 per cent of Glisten's business.

The autumn months are among the most important for Glisten, and most other confectionery producers, as they are the key period for Christmas orders. Hamer said that early demand, across both the Glisten and Fravigar businesses, was very encouraging, and would help the company end the first half of the year on a high.

"We expect the second half to be underpinned by a series of new product listings at existing and new customers as well as the further development of the sales potential of the products acquired with the group's recent acquisitions,"​ Hamer said.

Hamer did not give any details as to which areas would be targeted for growth, but Glisten's chief executive Paul Simmonds told​ back in September that areas such as foodservice products, functional confectionery or fruited snacks were all being considered.

He added at the time that the company would also look to rebuild its export business in 2005. Of necessity, it had been somewhat neglected while the firm expanded its UK manufacturing base, but with the European licence for the popular Sun Maid brand of chocolate raisins, Simmonds said that there was substantial potential for growth.

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