Northern Foods sees higher first-quarter sales growth

by Eric Schroeder
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LONDON — Northern Foods P.L.C., maker of Fox’s biscuits, said first-quarter like-for-like sales growth will climb nearly 6% behind increased volumes.

Stefan Barden, chief executive officer of Northern Foods, in an interim management statement issued July 15, said the company has made a good start to the new financial year.

"Our focus upon high quality products, to serve a range of tastes and budgets, positions us well to continue our progress," he said. "We have much more to do and have a range of initiatives to drive the business forward."

Northern Foods said divisional performance was robust during the first quarter, with bakery and chilled making strong progress.

The company’s bakery division had underlying revenue growth of 7%, reflecting strong product offerings.

"Our brand investment in Fox’s was supported by our third ‘Vinnie’ TV and on-line advertising campaign," the company said. "The TV campaign has been bolstered by activities on Facebook and Twitter, with an aggregate increase in the number of customers buying the Fox’s brand."

In the chilled division, underlying sales grew 9%, driven by warm seasonal weather, which led to strong demand for sandwiches and salads.

Frozen underlying revenue eased 1.5% due to the closing of a pizza manufacturing facility at Poldys in Ireland last year. Frozen pies and meat grills, meanwhile, continued to perform well, according to the company.

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