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Improved Trading Performance by Uniq

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Improved Trading Performance by Uniq

Improved Trading Performance by Uniq
September 19
14:25 2011

UK convenience food processor Uniq has continued to improve its trading performance in the first half ended June 30th 2011. Operating profit before significant items and group costs improved by 47% to £4.7m, compared to the corresponding period last year, on the back of improved trading in the compay’s food to go division and as a result of further restructuring within desserts.

 

Uniq’s balance sheet has also been transformed through a successful restructuring which removed the disproportionately large pension deficit. The pension restructuring gave rise to a significant credit to the profit and loss account and as a result shareholders’ funds improved from a negative position of £21.9m at 31st December 2010 to a positive £108.9m at 30th June 2011. The financial transformation enabled the group to conduct a sale process, initiated by the Pension Scheme, which resulted in a recommended offer from rival convenience food group Greencore.

 

Food to go sales increased by 9.0% reflecting continued strong growth in sandwiches on the back of a continuous programme of successful new product development. The growth in profitability to £5.8m, from £5.0m in the same period last year, reflects the division’s ability to manage profit margins through efficiency and tight control of costs in the face of higher raw material prices.

 

Desserts sales fell by 8.2% as a result of the loss of some low margin everyday desserts business, following the price increases pushed through in 2010 and as a result of the planned exit of cottage cheese. Positive progress was made in sales of premium desserts, reflecting the more favourable market dynamics in this sub-sector, while the sales of Cadbury chocolate desserts were flat. Despite the overall fall in desserts sales, the level of loss in this division reduced again to £1.1m compared to a loss of £1.8m for the same period last year.

 

Uniq’s acquisition by Greencore is subject to the outcome of the review by the Office of Fair Trading which is expected by the end of September 2011.

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