A taste for sweet treats in tough economic times has helped Patisserie Valerie raise profits by 23% to £6m. The 70-strong group, which includes the Baker & Spice and Druckers outlets, reported sales up 14% at £34m for the year to September. It plans to open a further ten branches in the coming year. Luke Johnson, boss of Risk Capital Partners, which owns Patisserie Holdings, said: “We intend to bring the luxury and quality of Continental artisanal patisseries to all the major cities of Britain.” Mail on Sunday, p73