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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 June, 2005, 09:33 GMT 10:33 UK
Profits go down at Northern Foods
Northern produces Goodfella's Pizzas and Dalepak frozen foods
Northern Foods has announced a sharp fall in its annual profits.

After restructuring costs, the Yorkshire-based group made 80.2m in the year to April, down 6.7% on the previous year.

One of its main businesses is supplying ready meals for stores and supermarkets with Marks and Spencer accounting for about 30% of its output.

The company is completing the process of moving its headquarters from Hull, where then firm was founded, to Leeds.

Frozen foods

The weaker profits for the year were mainly down to the chilled foods division, which saw sales grow by 2% to 764.6m but operating profits before exceptional items fell by 19.2% to 35m.

There were "satisfactory" results in frozen foods as well as in the division which includes Fox's and Elkes biscuits.

Northern Foods began its restructuring process in autumn 2003.

Fifteen former operating companies have been consolidated into three divisions and two factories have been closed, including a site in Carlisle.

Chairman Peter Blackburn said: "We have made significant progress on our journey of transformation as we work to realise our potential as supplier of choice to UK and Irish retailers."

Shareholders will receive a total dividend of 9.05p a share, up 1.7% on a year earlier.

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