Bakers upbeat despite €900k loss

BREAD maker McCambridge swung into the red last year with pre-tax losses of almost €900,000 but the company insists it will be profitable again in the next two years.

Company director Michael McCambridge said the loss in the year to the end of July 2008 was down to two exceptional items –the revaluing of assets and the purchase of Inter Link Foods.

Last year’s results are in contrast with pre-tax profits of almost €1.5 million the previous year.

“We are very positive about the business going forward,” said Mr McCambridge, adding that the company will break even in 2009 and return to profitability in 2010.

According to the latest set of accounts for the Dublin-based firm, gross profit fell from €3.2m to €2.9m between July 1, 2007 to June 28, 2008.

According to the accounts the directors said they were “satisfied” with the performance of the company during the year.

The director’s report read: “The business operates in the food and grocery sector and like all businesses we are operating in challenging times.

“While the current climate is challenging, the directors fell this will also give rise to opportunities for the business.”

The directors list the risks facing the company as interest rates, inflation and fluctuations in exchange rates. The directors have not recommended a dividend.

Staff employed by the company fell from 49 to 47 resulting in a fall in staff costs from €2.12m to €2.07m, according to the accounts.

“The continued success of the company has been achieved by the people working in it. The relatively low turnover of personnel reflects the general policy of providing good terms and conditions of employment while dealing with staff as well as the other stakeholders in the business, in a fair and consistent manner,” the accounts read.

The family-owned McCambridge group dates back to the 1940s and is best known for its stone-ground wholewheat bread.

It has been acquisitive in recent years, buying British-based WR & SV Hussey in 2001 and Cookes Bakery in 2006 out of examinership from the chef Johnny Cooke.

It acquired British cake manufacturer Inter Link Foods for £75m in 2007.

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