Monday 24th Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Northern Foods warns of price rise for consumers

Northern Foods, Britain’s biggest supplier of ready meals, has announced that it expects the impact of rising energy costs to be passed on to consumers. The Northern Foods group, that includes specialist distributor NFT, is a key supplier to Marks and Spencer. Northern will be looking for its retailer customers to increase the prices paid to providers and to pass this cost onto their consumers. When commenting on the current climate, Jez Maiden, Northern Food’s chief financial officer says: “Everybody is suffering this. You cannot achieve price reduction in this environment. We expect utility costs to be markedly higher and have a bigger impact in our second half.”

The company is still chewing over a restructuring programme that has already seen it close factories and streamline its operating structure. Chief executive of Northern Foods, Pat O’Driscoll comments: “As has been well documented, the trading environment remains tough and we will need to recover further input cost inflation in the second half year, particularly in utilities.” She also goes on to say: “However, I am encouraged by the good progress we are making to restructure and refocus the business towards our goals.” In its recent trading update for 26 weeks to October 1, the group announced that its first half margins had been “broadly maintained.”