Northern Foods has dismissed press reports it is planning to sell its £300 million turnover bakery division as “pure speculation”. A report in the Sunday Times on April 23 said Northern Foods’ board would discuss a potential sale of the division at a meeting this week.
The division includes premium cake and pastry supplier Park Cakes, Fox’s biscuits, Christmas puddings company Matthew Walker and the Smiths flour milling business.
In March, Northern Foods announced a strategic review, saying its bakery and pastry divisions had been seriously hit in the early weeks of 2006 (British Baker, March 17, pg 4). Biscuit sales were down 12% year-on-year and pastry sales down 11% in January and February, it said.
The results of the review will be revealed at the company’s AGM on May 31.