20 November 1998

Unigate profits hit

A DRAMATIC drop in pigmeat sales has hit Unigates profits.

The slump at subsidiary Malton Foods, the countrys biggest pigmeat processor, cut operating profit in the Fresh Foods division to £27.3m, down 13.9%.

A glut of pork in Europe, falling exports, notably to Asia and Russia, and the strong £ were blamed.

But profits in Unigates dairy businesses rose 6.7% to £20.8m, helped by lower milk prices. Overall, the companys pre-tax profits remained almost unchanged at £67.5m on a slightly reduced turnover of £1.12bn in the six months to Sept 30.

This result marks the end of five years of growth. &#42