July 29, 2008

Northern Foods Underlying Sales Up 3.5 Per Cent

FOOD manufacturer Northern Foods said today that first-quarter underlying sales increased by 3.5 per cent and its expectations for the current financial year remain unchanged.

The Leeds-based maker of Goodfella's pizza and Fox's biscuits said it expects full-year commodity costs will increase by about Pounds 20m, together with a Pounds 12m rise in utility costs.

Overall first-quarter revenue increased by 7.6 per cent year-on- year in the 13 weeks to June 28.

Northern Foods said the revenue growth reflected an acceleration in the price recovery of commodity inflation, with average selling prices up 5.5 per cent.

Underlying sales volumes were down 2 per cent, partly reflecting a move away from unprofitable private label business in frozen pizza and biscuits, the group said.

Market expectations for full year pretax profit range between Pounds 40.5m and Pounds 55.8m, with the consensus at Pounds 50.2m, according to a Reuters poll of 10 analysts.

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