Record results for Warburtons

(MEN) -- WARBURTONS , the family-owned bakery giant, defied `unprecedented volatility' in energy and wheat prices to post record profits.

The Bolton company, which now has 13 bakeries nationwide and employs nearly 5,000 people, said profits in the year to last September rose 13 per cent from £43.2m to £48.8m on turnover up 11 per cent at £414m.

Chairman Jonathan Warburton said the higher costs had been passed on to consumers, adding: "In spite of the turmoil in the marketplace, I am delighted that the business has shown continued growth.

"A key feature of the year was a dramatic doubling in the price of UK wheat, due to the lower yields from the year's harvest and worldwide demand pressures. With other increased costs in a number of areas, a selling price increase across the product range became unavoidable."

He said the business was now a national player and in the last year had launched its first-ever national TV advertising campaign.

The accounts reveal that at the end of the financial year the business was debt-free with a net cash balance.

The company invests much of its profits back in the business, but a dividend of £5.4m was paid out.

Founded in 1876, Warburtons has enjoyed fantastic growth over the last decade and is now one of the leading grocery brands in this country.

It has displaced Hovis from top spot as the leading bread brand.