Shares in Uniq, the UK-based convenience food group, jumped this morning (9 January) after it said it had secured a refinancing deal.

The struggling company, which in October issued a profit warning after customers had started trading down amid the economic downturn, said it had won a fresh credit facility with lenders Lloyds TSB.

The GBP60m (US$91.1m) credit facility, which will mature at the end of 2010, replaces a GBP40m deal that was due to expire in March that year.

Chief executive Geoff Eaton said: "These are undoubtedly extraordinary economic times. The renewal and improvement of our banking facilities will enable us to take the tough decisions and implement the actions necessary to complete the recovery and restructuring we started in 2006."

Uniq shares climbed 46.2% on the news reaching 19p at 09:38 this morning.

Nevertheless, Uniq said its expectations for the year were unchanged. In October, Uniq said it expected to make a loss for the second half of 2008.

Sales during the fourth quarter fell 3.8% due to a slump in UK sales.

UK sales fell 9.6% during the fourth quarter, having been up 1% during the first nine months of 2008. Desserts and fish volumes missed expectations over Christmas, Uniq said.

The company's sales in northern Europe inched up 1.9% thanks to growth in Poland and from sandwich sales in the Netherlands.

In France, sales dipped 1.1%, although Uniq insisted the performance was a "significant improvement" after a "very slow" third quarter.