• UK operations swing to profit
  • Pension costs weigh; insist agreement in place
  • Q1 sales up 4.2%
Uniq pointed to Q1 sales growth in 2010

Uniq pointed to Q1 sales growth in 2010

UK food group Uniq today (15 April) hailed the development of a profitable domestic business in 2009 but saw its losses grow on rising pension costs.

Uniq, which makes own-label desserts, sandwiches and prepared salads for UK retailers, said its underlying UK business booked an operating profit of GBP4.4m (US$6.8m) - against an operating loss of GBP1.3m.

Revenue from continuing operations, after a year in which Uniq decided to offload its European businesses, was flat at GBP287.2m.

However, Uniq's said its pre-tax losses grew from GBP100,000 to GBP18.5m after the company incurred GBP11.3m in pension costs.

Uniq said it had agreed a deal with pension trustees that remains subject to regulatory clearance.

Chief executive Geoff Eaton said: "The Q1 operating results are significantly better than last year and slightly ahead of the board's expectations." First-quarter sales rose 4.2%

Eaton added: "Subject to the resolution of our pensions funding, this positions the group well to continue to build a UK business that has the quality and flexibility to grow profitably in the dynamic markets in which we operate."

Click here for the full preliminary earnings statement from Uniq and click here for just-food's interview with CEO Geoff Eaton.