GENIUS Foods, the gluten-free bakery, has narrowed its losses by £1.7 million after a restructuring that has also led to a reduction in the workforce of about a quarter.

The Edinburgh-based firm said it “continues to be the UK’s leading gluten free bakery brand” with the business in double digit growth for the fifth consecutive quarter, as it posted an update on the restructuring that included a reduction of 110 jobs, 100 of which were in production.

More widely, the company said that Belgian-based Verlinvest - the majority shareholder - is providing access to long-term investment and its global network of contacts.

The firm said it has “a strong balance sheet and supportive investors which has enabled it to take a long-term view”.

It also said this year it has moved to bring Genius to mainstream consumers through a new range of “good for the gut” digestive wellness products.

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It has pressed ahead with its three-year program to reduce operating costs and “innovated with the support of Scottish Enterprise to create unique gut-friendly products” and scale its gluten-free processes globally.

In the accounts filed with Companies House, it said in 2018 there was a full year loss after tax of £6.7m, which was narrowed from £8.4m, and this was “as a result of continued investment to deliver efficiencies, repositioning the Genius brand to sustain international growth and accelerate innovation”.

Investment in bakery equipment stood at £900,000, on top of £800,000 in new equipment the year before.

The company, which was founded by Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne and has Sir Bill Gammell, the founder and former chief executive of Cairn Energy, as its chairman, posted research and development costs of £1.9m this year, about the same as 2017.

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Revenue was £30.7m, against £34.4m the year before. Loss before tax was £6.7m, again narrowing, against £8.8m in 2017.

The accounts showed there was £1.8m in 2017 allocated to redundancy and reorganisation costs.

Directors’ emoluments sat at £447,000 in 2018 compared to £574,000 the previous year, when there was also £30,000 in redundancy payments made.

Group wage costs were £11.4m, against £13m in 2017, with 320 employees, down from 430.

Genius also said that it entered into a £7m invoice facility with BNP Paribas, which superseded the HSBC facility that matured in April.

The firm signalled a general change in direction in the accounts for the year ended December 31, 2019.

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Jeremy Bradley, Genius chief executive, said: “Genius continues to be the UK’s leading gluten-free bakery brand.

“Following completion of the programme to consolidate production at the Bathgate bakery and exit low margin business, the 2018 results reflect a solid year of improving underlying performance.”

He said that “2019 continues well with the business in double digit growth, supported by investment to build the Genius brand in high potential markets and further strengthen margins”.

Mr Bradley also said: “The company continues to focus on driving sales revenues whilst at the same time continuing with its programme to strengthen gross margins and reduce operating costs.

“In common with most UK food businesses management of rising input prices will remain a key area of focus for the coming year – 2019 will see the business continue to invest to gain competitive advantage through technical know-how and building the Genius brand.”