Breakfast cereal maker Weetabix has upped annual sales in a year when the overall sector performed "below levels experienced historically".
Rising commodity costs impacted on profits, but the 80-year-old company said it benefited from "carefully considered" price rises and a tight control of costs.
In the year to 31 December 2011, Northamptonshire-headquartered Weetabix Ltd reported a turnover of £335m, up from £325.9m a year earlier. Sales in the UK were up 2.5 per cent, while European revenues grew 3.3 per cent.
Writing in the annual report, the company's directors said it was reassuring that the resilience of its business model, and in particular brands such as Alpen, Oatibix and Ready Brek, meant that the business "continued to perform well" in the face of difficult conditions.
Overall operating profit dipped, however, from £87.4m in 2010 to £81.6m last year. Pre-tax profits also fell from £133.6m to £86.2m for the same reporting periods, although the 2010 figure benefited from £43m worth of dividends from two subsidiaries.
"Although cereal sales measured by volume were down year-on-year for the second successive year, the market moved back into growth in value terms," the directors of Weetabix said.
"The UK cereal bar market delivered a robust performance in difficult conditions recording modest increases in both volumes sold and sales value."
In May, state-owned Chinese group Bright Food bought a 60 per cent stake in Weetabix from private equity group Lion Capital. The deal, which includes a clause enabling Bright Food to acquire full ownership in two years, valued Weetabix at £1.2bn.
Bright Food said it was committed to driving the "global growth and success of the Weetabix business", with a focus on the potential in Asia and, particularly, China.
Giles Turrell, Weetabix chief executive, added: "While the company's focus has been on reinforcing and building on our leading position in the UK, I believe there are also substantial opportunities to further grow the business internationally, in North America, Asia and beyond."
Weetabix first moved to Northamptonshire in 1936, taking over a disused flour mill in Burton Latimer.
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