Iglo’s Birds Eye frozen range beats gloom

 
Michael Bow
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PRIVATE equity-owned Iglo Group, the firm behind popular UK brands such as Birds Eye fish fingers, yesterday posted half year core sales growth of 3.7 per cent – led by a UK boom in frozen food sales.

The company, which was put up for sale by owners Permira this year but taken off the market after failing to generate big enough bids, said a 6.1 per cent increase in fish sales and 5.4 per cent in poultry led the growth.

Figures from the firm also show total frozen food sales in the UK grew faster than total foods for the first time ever.

Frozen food grew at 3.1 per cent over the half year, ahead of the 2.9 per cent growth of general food in the UK.

Chief executive Martin Glenn said: “We are now investing in the business at record levels and up-scaling our core product production capabilities.

“While we expect markets in the second half of the year to remain challenging, we remain on track to deliver full year core category sales growth.”

Iglo was the subject of a multi-billion pound bid by BC Partners and Blackstone last month.

However, the offer didn’t match the price Permira wanted and the company, which has owned Iglo for six years, has decided to stick with the firm for the next three years.

Iglo, which operates in 11 regions across Europe, also said in its results that it has seen “strong performance” in Italy for its bake in a bag fish products.