Northern Foods cuts businesses, staff and dividend

UK - The Northern Foods chief executive, Pat O'Driscoll, announced a radical restructuring of the troubled group yesterday, halving its dividend payout and putting 40% of the business up for sale.

Admitting there had been "a history of the yes culture" in Northern Foods' dealings with its supermarket customers, Ms O'Driscoll said there would be a tougher line on uneconomic business in future as the group battles to restore profitability.

It will focus on five core businesses: pizzas, biscuits, ready meals, sandwiches and Christmas puddings. Up for sale are the Smith flour milling unit, cakes, speciality bread, its chilled pastry products division and the NFT distribution arm.

These businesses account for about 40% of the group's £1.44bn turnover and employ 9,000 people, 45% of its total workforce.

Source: The Guardian
calendar icon 1 June 2006
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