30 July 1998
Margin pressure in pigmeat hits Unigates first quarter

MARGIN pressure in pigmeat has hit first-quarter profits at Unigates Malton business, the company shareholders were told at the annual meeting.

But Ian Martin, chairman, said: “We have made modest progress against last year”. He expected to repair the damage to Maltons margins by the second quarter.

Unigate has upset pig farmers by cutting prices and reducing its number of contracts with producers.

Unigate increased profits in the dairy division. But Mr Martin said the recent attempt by Milk Marque to increase raw milk prices from October made it “uneconomic for Unigate to participate in any meaningful way in their selling round”.

Mr Martin confirmed the companys interest in making acquisitions despite the failure to buy Hillsdown Holdings.

  • Financial Times 30/07/98 page 29