August 18, 2017 / 4:28 PM / 2 years ago

Belgium's Lotus Bakeries raises prices in Britain due to weak pound

(Reuters) - Belgian biscuit maker Lotus Bakeries (LOTB.BR) reported higher first-half profits on Friday and said it has had to raise the prices of its products in Britain because of weakness in the pound.

The company, which also makes Biscoff spread and Peijnenburg gingerbread, said the weaker pound sterling following last June’s Brexit vote was having a significant impact on the consolidated turnover.

“During 2017, price increases have been initiated in the UK. The positive effect of these measures will mainly be felt in the second half of the year,” it said in its results statement.

Lotus Bakeries generates nearly 20 percent of its sales in Britain.

Inflation in Britain has increased because of the fall in the pound following the country’s vote to leave the European Union. The Bank of England predicts it will hit a five-year high of about 3 percent around October.

Lotus’s sales rose 1 percent in the first half of 2017 to 258.9 million euros ($304.13 million). Like-for-like sales, ignoring exchange rate effects, grew by almost three percent, it said.

The company’s recurrent operating result (REBIT) increased 6.5 percent to 46.7 million euros.

Lotus Bakeries, which bought UK healthy snack brands Urban Fresh Foods and Natural Balance Food in 2015, also said that 35 employees would be let go in the second half of the year due to automation and process improvements in gingerbread production.

Reporting by Piotr Lipinski. Editing by Jane Merriman

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