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Real Good Food Group shares slide amid trading woes

SHARES in Real Good Food Group slid by more than 16% after it warned third-quarter trading had disappointed.

The company said sales over the "crucial" Easter period will determine its full-year results.

Jam making and bakery ingredients arm R&W Scott, which employs 60 people in Carluke and is run by John Easton, is said to have returned to profit since being established as a standalone business unit. It is gearing up for several new product launches in April.

Sales at sugar distributor Napier Brown have been lower than expected although there has been growth from industrial customers and a new range of Whitworths baking sugars was launched in retail channels.

A contract has been agreed to buy a site at Immingham, Lincolnshire, as a central facility for importing sugar from around the world.

Bakery ingredients supplier Renshaw has launched an online shop in recent weeks and hopes to grow that "considerably" during 2013.

Dairy ingredients division Garrett has seen volumes drop due to short-term volatility in dairy markets.

Patisserie and desserts subsidiary Haydens Bakery has been hitting profit targets since October and plans to expand products offerings in the food service industry.

The company also recently finalised a five-year £50 million banking facility with PNC Financial Services as its existing lending agreement was due to mature in July this year.

Pieter Totté, executive chairman at Real Good Foods, said: "The strategic changes that have been made across the group during the current financial year are now settling down and producing positive results.

"There has been a return to profitability at Haydens and R&W Scott, for example, and overall profitability is expected to be well ahead of the previous year.

"Our underlying performance is clearly on an upward curve and our plans for further growth are underpinned by our partnership with PNC which, through the recent extension of our banking facilities, provides us with the financial support we need."

The shares ended the day down 16.3%, or 7.75p, at 39.75p.

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