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Signs of Recovery at Refocused Uniq

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Signs of Recovery at Refocused Uniq

July 23
14:43 2010

Having completed the sales of its operations in continental Europe and transformed into a UK-focused chilled foods business, Uniq has reported an operating profit of £1.0m for its continuing business for the first half of 2010 compared to a loss of £3.7m in the corresponding period of the previous year. Revenue from continuing business rose from £141.1m to £156.3m and pre-tax losses, excluding the effects of the European disposals, were cut from £12.8m to £6.0m.

Sales in the first half at Uniq’s food to go business were up 15.2% on the same period last year reflecting business wins in both sandwiches and salads. The operating result for the division reflects this strong growth in sales with profit up £3.3m year-on-year at £5.0m.

Geoff Eaton, chief executive of Uniq.

However, although the desserts business, which was restructured during 2009 with the consolidation of three sites to two, improved its operating performance by £0.4m during the first half of 2010, it still posted a loss of £1.8m, as a result of £1.5m additional costs to support the launch of new products and due to continued pressure on margins.

A further set-back for Uniq was the recent sharp drop in its share price after the group’s long-term proposals for tackling its pension fund deficit failed to gain clearance from the Pension Regulator.

“The strategic decision to focus on the UK is delivering the expected benefits in terms of higher sales growth and profits. We are successfully building the quality and value of the business in parallel with seeking a satisfactory outcome for the pension scheme,” says Geoff Eaton, chief executive of Uniq.

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