UK convenience foods group Uniq has announced a fall in sales and an increased loss for the year to 31 March 2005, but says action has been taken to address its disappointing performance in the UK.

Turnover was £879m (US$1.6bn), compared with £949.1m in the previous year. Operating profit was £28.0m, compared with 35.3m the year before, with a loss on ordinary activities before tax of £70.6m, compared with £15.6m. The company was hit by a charge for goodwill amortisation and exceptional items of £93.1m, compared with £40.3m.

"It has been an extremely challenging year for the Group with the added uncertainty of being in an offer period for five months from October to March," said chairman Nigel Stapleton. "We have made good progress during the year in our continental Europe businesses, however trading in the UK has been poor."

"We have taken decisive action to address this disappointing performance," he said. "Following the end of the offer period, we announced a highly focused strategy and a significant shift in management style to bring about a faster pace of change across the business. The performance in the UK has now stabilised, and the prospects for our businesses in continental Europe remain positive. Whilst we do not expect an immediate improvement in financial performance, we believe the actions taken will positively impact the second half of the year."