Northern Foods today (15 July) revealed that first-quarter sales growth was driven by a particularly strong performance at its chilled food unit.

In the 13 weeks to 27 June, Northern saw like-for-like sales rise 5.5% on volumes growth of 4.2% and a 1.3% gain due to price increases.

The UK ready meals maker posted strongest growth at its chilled division, where sales rose 9.2%, boosted by value lines.

The company also boasted "further progress" at its bakery unit, where sales grew by 6.8%.

However, underlying revenue at Northern's frozen business was down 1.5%, due to the closure of a pizza manufacturing site at Poldys in Ireland last year.

"Our focus upon high quality products, to serve a range of tastes and budgets, positions us well to continue our progress. We have much more to do and have a range of initiatives to drive the business forward," CEO Stefan Barden commented.