UK chilled foods firm Uniq has reported a rise in half-year earnings following the jettisoning of its unprofitable everyday desserts business.

The company today (16 September) released its half-year results for the six months to 30 June, revealing that profits went up following the scaling back of the desserts operation at Minsterley, with the loss of 350 jobs.

Operating profit before significant items and group costs improved by 47% to GBP4.7m (US$7.4m) in the first six months of 2011, despite a slight drop in overall sales. Turnover was GBP151.8m, compared to GBP156.3m in the first half of 2010.

The results were also bolstered by a 9% sales jump in its food-to-go division, which the company said reflects “continued strong growth in sandwiches on the back of a continuous programme of successful new product development”.

Irish food group Greencore is in the process of buying Uniq after tabling a GBP113m (US$178.8m) takeover offer earlier this year.