BOSSES at a Bolton bakery say they are ‘satisfied’ with their trading position, despite recording increased deficits year-on-year.

Retained losses for Lostock-based Greenhalgh’s Craft Bakery have gone out to nearly £1.3million for 2018/19, from £573,000 for the previous 12 months.

But directors say this performance must be set against a ‘volatile’ market, when considering pressures on the high street and rising costs.

And the firm has looked to overhaul its factory machinery and transportation. shareholders have been told.

Three further retail shops were opened, including new premises in Crompton Way, Bolton, along with a store in Clapgate Lane, Wigan, and Preston’s Fishergate.

Company director David Smart said: “The company continues to seek out suitable retail opportunities to expand its portfolio of shops.”

The wider company now has nearly 60 shops, concentrated around Bolton, Wigan and its traditional Lancashire heartland. But Greenhalgh’s can also be found as far afield as Kendal, Marple and Liverpool. Employee numbers have remained relatively stable at 874.

Mr Smart added: “Funds were also set aside for significant investment in plant and machinery, including a new flexible Gasperini slicing machine. During the year a contract was signed to replace 10 of the company’s standard Mercedes Sprinter delivery vehicles, three of which had been delivered by year-end.”

Rising costs have also been attributed to adverse movements in the Euro exchange rate, triggered by the ongoing uncertainty over Brexit. The wholesale food market is also a crucial factor,

Mr Smart said: “The company’s trade involves the purchase of significant volumes of wholesale food products. The wholesale food product market can have significant volatility, potentially giving rise to unmanageable increases in the company’s cost base.

“The directors mitigate this by continual review of product pricing, ensuring price movements are matched to the cost of commodities. Recession and weather also have a direct impact on spending patterns.”