Northern Foods reports mixed results

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Northern Foods has reported a lift of 5.8 per cent in its underlying profits for the first half to £25.7m. The report indicates that the company has received higher earnings from its bakery and frozen ready meals than its chilled ranges, which has achieved flatter results in comparison. The company had previously stated it planned to cut its supplier base by half and has closed factories and streamlined its operating structure.

Pat O’Driscoll, chief executive of Northern Foods said: “Our programme for the transformation of Northern Foods is well underway.” Although she acknowledged that the chilled business needed to do better, after announcing a flat profit of £8.8m.

O’Driscoll joined the company last year and has overseen management changes. She went on to say: “The trading environment remains difficult. Against a background of rising input costs, particularly for energy, we expect the recent period of price deflation to end. We are negotiating with our retail customers to recover input cost inflation. With our GET FIT programme continuing to drive efficiencies, we expect progressively to improve our operating margin over the next 18 months.”

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