08 June 1998
Northern Foods and Unigate report

DAIRY group Unigate will release its full-year profits today, only two weeks after pulling out of talks to buy food and furniture conglomerate Hillsdown.

Pre-tax profits are expected to show a useful increase with brokers looking for £140-£145 million, compared with £116m last year.

The figures are likely to be of limited appeal, with brokers focusing on what the company plans to do next. The question remains whether Unigate directors are still hell-bent on an acquisition after the Hillsdown disappointment or whether they now favour a demerger.

Meanwhile, Northern Foods will also announce its full-year pre-tax profits this week with most analysts expecting anything between £94-£152m. Earlier this year the group demerged its Express Dairies operation and forecast pre-tax profits of not less than £93m – including one-off costs of £10m relating to the merger.

  • The Daily Telegraph 08/08/98 page 22
  • The Times 08/08/98 page 44
  • The Independent 08/08/98 page 17 (Shares)