16 November 1998
Pigmeat sales plummetting, says Malton’s owner

By FWi staff

A DRAMATIC drop in sales of pigmeat was confirmed this morning by Fresh Foods, the Unigate-owned company which includes Malton Foods.

The slump in sales at Malton, the countrys biggest pigmeat processing business, caused overall profits at Fresh Foods to drop by 13.9% to £27.3 million.

But growth in yoghurt sales enabled Unigate to announce static overall interim profits across the whole of the company in the six months to 30 September 1998.

Half-year pre-tax profits at Unigate totalled £67.5m on a £1.12bn turnover. The company made £67.4m on a £1.17bn turnover during the same period last year.

The drop in turnover ended five years of growth at Unigate. Bosses blamed the poor performance on the financial crisis in south-east Asia and Russia.

The strength of Sterling also hit sales and has led to expectations that Unigate will report static annual profits at the end of the financial year.

The companys share price fell 4.1% by after the results were announced. Unigate shares were down to 21p to 502.5p at 2.30pm this afternoon (Monday).