UK convenience food group Uniq said today (21 November) that its operating losses, excluding exceptional items, declined by one third during the first six months of the year as the company’s recovery gained momentum.

The company said operating losses on continuing businesses totalled GBP8.4m (US$15.9m) in the first half, down from GBP12.2m.

The company recently disposed of two European divisions as part of its turnaround programme, selling off its French spreads and Belgian salad operations in order to focus on areas where it believes there is greater scope for profits growth. These disposals, which raised a total of GBP280m, will boost its balance sheet and leave it in a stronger position for future growth, Uniq said.

“Our recovery is gathering momentum and will be underpinned by a strong balance sheet with net cash and reduced pension exposure. All our divisions have strong entrepreneurial leadership and are on recovery paths, with the UK leading the way,” chief executive Geoff Eaton commented.

Revenue from continuing operations increased by 2% during the half, totalling GBP352m. Revenue growth in the company’s home market increased by 5%.