Page last updated at 10:05 GMT, Friday, 23 January 2009

Pie makers 'will survive 2009'

Holland's Pies van
Sales of Holland's Pies rose by 10% in the last year, the firm said

Tough times may lie ahead for the food industry in 2009, but pie-makers will ride out the recession, it is claimed.

Government figures have confirmed that the UK is officially in recession for the first time since the early 1990s.

But Holland's Pies, based in Baxenden, Lancashire, is predicting further growth as hard-up families turn to "staple favourites".

Holland's employs about 400 people in Accrington and is part of the chilled division of Northern Foods.

Managing director Neil Court-Johnston claimed the pie industry had "boomed" during the last recession.

I feel we have a lot to be optimistic about in 2009
Neil Court-Johnston

"Of course, 2009 will be tough for the food industry but pies are a staple favourite that consumers have come to rely on for a great many years," he said.

"In the last recession the pie business boomed because a proper pie or pudding is substantial, familiar and nutritious.

"Better still, a pie or pudding meal provides fantastic value for money."

Holland's has been making pies, puddings and pasties since 1851 and produces about one million a week, sold predominately in the North West.

Its parent company's half-year results to 27 September 2008, released last year, showed total revenue had risen 6.5% and underlying revenue was up 3.9% on 2007.

Mr Court-Johnston added: "Our figures are good with sales up 10% on previous years so our focus will remain firmly on improving our quality, value and service.

"Put simply that means working harder to have the right products, at the right price in the right place."

"I feel we have a lot to be optimistic about in 2009."

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