Page last updated at 10:49 GMT, Wednesday, 30 September 2009 11:49 UK

Sales snowball at sweet company

Snowball boxes
Snowballs and macaroon bars are among Lees Food's products

Lees Foods, which makes snowballs and macaroon bars, has reported an increase in half year pre-tax profits in its ongoing operations to nearly £400,000.

The Coatbridge-based firm said both its Lees of Scotland and Waverley Bakery operations achieved record sales.

However, its Patisserie UK arm, which it bought in 2007 and is now in administration, made a loss of £251,000 over the same period.

The firm has restructured its board after its chairman stepped down.

Raymond Miquel, who was also chief executive, resigned unexpectedly earlier this month.

He stepped in to rescue Lees in 1993 when the company was close to bankruptcy and was losing more than £1m a year.

Under his leadership, staff numbers almost doubled and turnover soared.

Legal action

Dr Chris Greig has been appointed as non-executive chairman of the group.

Raymond Miquel's son Clive will take on the role of company chief executive.

The company said Nadia Millar would continue to head The Waverley Bakery.

Lees makes a range of products including the famous macaroon bars, meringues and snowballs.

The Waverley Bakery, bought by the Lees group in 2003, makes ice cream cones.

Lees said the euro exchange rate had pushed up the cost of raw materials, although this was partly offset by lower energy costs and improved efficiency.

The blackspot on the company's half year results came from Patisserie UK.

Lees acquired the firm in 2007 but put it into administration 18 months later after losing 75% of its business.

The group said it was continuing to pursue a legal action against Patisserie UK's former directors.

Losses incurred by Patisserie UK came in at £251,000 for the half year.



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SEE ALSO
Sweet firm Lees forced into loss
27 May 09 |  Scotland

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