Ontario-based Canada Bread’s UK subsidiary, speciality bread and bagel manufacturer Maple Leaf Bakery UK, has seen a drop in earnings for the first quarter to 31 March, 2009.

The decline has been put down to "a lower margin product mix" due to the more pronounced effect of the recession in the UK. "Also, increased promotional costs to restore volumes reduced earnings," according to a statement from Canada Bread.

Maple Leaf Bakery is part of Canada Bread’s Frozen Bakery division, alongside its North American operations.

Its Frozen Bakery division saw an overall sales increase of 3.1% to C$150.1m (£84.8m) compared to C$145.6m (£82.3m) for the same period last year. The increase was mainly driven by price increases in North America last year. Adjusted operating earnings rose to C$8.5m (£4.8m) compared to C$6.9m (£3.9m) for the comparable period last year.

The firm’s Fresh Bakery division’s first quarter sales increased 10.9% to C$263m (£148.6m). Total sales for the first quarter increased 7.9% to C$413.1m (£233.5m) compared to C$382.9m (£216.5m) in the same period last year.

Canada Bread Company is 89.8% owned by Maple Leaf Foods Inc.