Merrill Lynch has raised its rating on the food group Uniq PLC from "Sell" to "Neutral". The bank's dealers said the company, which specialises in salads and French spreads, had started to make progress with its restructuring plan.

"Critically, it is the elimination of the group's net debt position and solution to the ongoing pension issue that gives us more comfort that management can execute the turnaround of the remaining businesses," Merrill Lynch said.

However, the broker did warn that there still remained substantial execution risk regarding the turnaround of remaining assets.