In its fourth quarter trading update, the firm announced that food-to-go sales were up 11.5% for the 13 weeks to 26 December. “Consumers responded well to the swift changes in our product range to deliver better value and innovation in key categories,” said a company statement.
Its Northampton business benefited from “new sandwich volume” with Marks & Spencer, worth £15m a year. However, this was partly offset by the loss of a “significant proportion” of its airline business, when British Airways announced its decision to reduce food services on short-haul flights.
Its desserts arm saw sales rise by 0.4%, and it achieved a good Christmas performance, reversing the negative growth reported in the previous two quarters.
The food group made the decision to dispose of its French, German, Polish and Netherlands business units earlier in 2009, to become focused solely on the UK convenience market.