Sales were up for Maple Leaf Bakery UK, in a first quarter financial statement which saw parent company Canada Bread’s overall earnings slashed.

The firm, which is 90% owned by Canadian-based Maple Leaf Foods, revealed that adjusted operating earnings were down 48% to $8.8 million (£5.44m) in 2012, compared to $16.7 million (£10.32m) last year.

The firm put the drop down to a decline in fresh bakery volumes - a trend which it said has been experienced across the North American industry.

However the Canada Bread said that “after adjusting for the sale of the company’s fresh sandwich product line in February 2011, the strategic exit from fresh and in-store bakery bread categories in the UK, and currency translation on sales in the US and UK, sales increased 2%”.

Maple Leaf Bakery UK, which forms part of its frozen bakery arm, saw higher sales in the first quarter 31 March 2012, and an improved sales mix, according to its parent company. The UK bagel category also saw continued growth it said.