Northern Foods avoids downturn


Northern Foods avoids downturn
Northern Foods experienced 3.5 per cent year-on-year advance in underlying revenue last quarter, it announced in its interim management statement today.

The Marks & Spencer (M&S) ready-meal provider said that performance in the 13 weeks ending December 29th met expectations, with strong performance of sandwiches, salads, puddings and baked goods.

M&S released negative figures for the third quarter last Wednesday and there were concerns that Northern Foods would be affected.

But, in spite of "challenging market conditions" for the Christmas season, the company, whose brands include Goodfellas pizza and Fox's biscuits, has seen its shares rise by more than six per cent in early trading today.

The statement said that the Leeds-based company had increased prices of bakery goods to offset higher commodity cost increases, while volumes decreased by 3.1 per cent.

"Our key Christmas period has been delivered effectively and to plan, and the recent successful recovery of commodity cost increases has had limited impact on sales volumes," the food maker's chief executive Stefan Barden said.

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