UK food manufacturer Northern Foods has reported a slight rise of 1% in first-half pre-tax profits.

The company, which makes Fox’s biscuits and Goodfella’s pizzas, posted pre-tax profit of £38.8m (US$61.7m), which was at the top end of analysts’ £38-38.7m forecasts.

With launches of its Christmas biscuit assortments and puddings having gone well, Northern Foods said it is confident of good Christmas sales.

The company makes own-label ready meals, quiches and desserts to retailers such as Marks & Spencer. Supplies to its five big customers – Asda, Marks & Spencer, Safeway, J Sainsbury and Tesco – account for nearly three-quarters of Northern Food’s sales, reported Reuters.