Northern Foods has announced a solid Christmas trading performance, with “good growth” in its Bakery and Chilled divisions.

Like-for-like sales for the year were up 1.9% overall. However, the firm said like-for-like sales were flat in the third quarter due to the planned exit from marginal frozen pastry contracts.

Underlying revenue within Bakery for the 13 weeks to 26 December was up 1.4% due to good seasonal demand. Biscuits, including its Fox’s brand, performed well. However, puddings saw lower volume sales due to the entry of “additional competition into this market segment,” it stated.

Within the firm’s Chilled division, sales of sandwiches and salads achieved strong sales growth, with underlying revenue for the division up 5.4% on the comparable period in 2008.

Northern Foods plans to invest further in its McDougall’s pie brand, with the roll-out of individual pies having starting during the final period of 2009, and said it would continue to eliminate low margin sales in its Frozen division.