Icelandic food company Bakkavör posted a loss of GBP154.2m (US$222m) in 2008, hurt by foreign currency loans, restructuring costs and a loss on the company’s Greencore investment.

The loss for the 12 month period was a significant drop from a profit of GBP47.4m in 2007.

The result was impacted by GBP177m in one-off costs, which CEO Ágúst Gudmundsson said were “one-off exceptional factors”.

Operating profit for the period was also down, dropping to GBP63.8m from GBP110m in the same period of 2007.

Despite this, turnover increased 10% to reach GBP1.6bn, while underlying like-for-like sales growth was 1.9% in 2008.

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Gudmundsson said the company has secured funding across all of its operating businesses, “strengthened” its trading operations and “maintained” sales performance, “despite the slowdown in consumer spend”.

UK sales represented 86% of the group’s turnover in 2008, amounting to GBP1.39bn, up 3.9%. Underlying sales in the UK business decreased by 0.4% in the year, for which the company blamed on a downturn in ready meals and produce sales.

Loss for the fourth quarter period amounted to GBP98.5m compared to a profit of GBP10.4m in 2007. Turnover increased 11% to reach GBP412.5m.

Going forward, Bakkavör said it expects trading conditions to remain “challenging”, but that it anticipates returning to profit growth and “good cash generation” in 2009.