Northern Foods sell off to improve outlook

By James Knowles

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Northern foods Cent Bread

UK Northern Foods have today reported positive results after
selling off faltering businesses, enjoying organic growth of 3.2
per cent.

The food producer said that although organic revenue growth had slowed to 2.8 per cent during the third quarter, this accounted for the acquisition of new businesses in 2005 including pizza and ready meals.

"Christmas operational delivery was robust. Continued sales growth in our retained business is supporting the delivery of stronger performance,"​ said Northern Foods chief executive Pat O'Driscoll.The food producer made the decision to sell off failing businesses to improve sales prospects, sales actually falling by three per cent in the third quarter and 1.3 per cent in the year to date. Northern Foods completed the disposal of its distribution, chilled pastry, cakes, specialty bread and flour milling businesses on the 13th of January this year.

"We have seen the successful completion of our disposal program, achieving our targeted value within our planned timescales, and we can now focus on growing value in our core business,"​ said O'Driscoll.

Northern Foods chilled business delivered steady organic growth up 5.6 per cent in the third quarter and 8.0 per cent in the full trading year. The continuing bakery business grew by one per cent in the third quarter, despite overall being lower year on year by 4.9 per cent.

Frozen food sales faltered by 0.3 per cent in the third quarter, having grown by 2.7 per cent during the trading year. Slowed Pizza sales accounted for the launch of Goodfella's solo range, the company said.

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