UK food manufacturer Northern Foods said it continues to trade in line with expectations, despite booking a drop in first-half sales.

For the six months ended 2 October, group sales dropped 2.4%, Northern said today (5 October).

However, like-for-like sales, which excludes the impact of foreign exchange, M&A and discontinued product lines and operations, increased 2.4%. In the first quarter, Northern’s like-for-like sales were down 1.6%.

Northern’s chilled food sales rose 6.3% and bakery sales increased 3.3%. However, frozen sales slid 23.6%.

Stefan Barden, chief executive of Northern Foods, said: “We are taking decisive actions to ensure that we are well positioned for the competitive market conditions which we are experiencing and expect to continue.

“Our finances remain strong and we continue to trade in line with expectations,” he added.

A new organisational structure announced by the firm today, will see the firm operate through two divisions: branded and chilled.

Northern’s branded division will comprise Goodfella’s Pizza, McDougalls and Holland’s Pies, Fox’s Biscuits and Matthew Walker Puddings. The company’s chilled arm will combine sandwiches and salads with ready meals and the firm’s British Airways supply business.

Shares in Northern were up 1.1% at 46.25p at 09:56 BST this morning.

Click here to view the full release and check back later for further insight into the firm’s results.