Chilled foods company Uniq has reported a fall in third-quarter group sales and warned that its recovery pace is uncertain.

UK-based Uniq released a statement reporting total group sales of GBP215.8m (US$381.4m) for the 13 weeks up to 31 December 2005, falling 7.2% compared with the previous year.

For the first two quarters of the financial year, group sales fell 3.9% compared to 2004.

In its outlook Uniq said: “The strength of the Southern European performance should help to offset the poor performance in Northern Europe. The foundations for recovery in the UK are being put in place although, as we said at the interim stage, we cannot be certain about the pace of recovery.”

Uniq sells food products in 14 countries and has manufacturing operations in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the UK.