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Northern Foods’ bakery sales remain strong

first_imgNorthern Foods’ Bakery division put in a strong performance in its fourth quarter with underlying revenue up 10.4%. The firm said bakery had performed well over the Christmas trading period, with its Fox’s brand continuing to drive growth within the division.Full year underlying revenue for the 52 weeks to 28 March, 2009, was up 5.5%, “driven by price and volume”. The company also said it was “continuing with the evaluation of an investment in a world class biscuits manufacturing facility”.Its Chilled division saw the most growth with underlying revenue up 12.2% in the fourth quarter on the comparable period, while underlying sales for the year grew 5.5%. The firm said this division was holding strong during the recession and additional value lines of chilled pizza and sandwiches were launched over Q4.Within its Frozen division, revenue was up slightly year-on-year (2.5%). The company is planning further improvements to its frozen range, which saw the exit of some “marginal own-label contracts in pastry and pizza”, but the company relaunched the San Marco pizza and McDougall’s frozen pies ranges during Q4 and said this would “build on our proposition to target the cash-conscious consumers”.Group underlying sales for the fourth quarter rose 8.8% on the previous quarter and for the full year increased 4.7%. Stefan Barden, chief executive of Northern Foods, said: “In a tough market, Northern Foods is trading strongly and we anticipate that our full-year profit before tax will be in line with market expectations.”The firm will report its full year financial results on 27 May, 2009.last_img read more

Pasty Presto sets goal of 30 outlets

first_imgPasty Presto has opened two stores, after securing £1.5m of bank funding, and is on course to open a further five this year, taking the pasty and coffee shop chain to a total of 30 outlets.The Bath-based business has opened new outlets at Gloucester Quays Designer Outlet and Extra motorway services on the M40 near Beaconsfield – its first in the travel-retail sector. It is also due to open a franchised outlet on Guernsey next month as part of a deal with Channel Island retail operator SandpiperCI that will see two more franchised Pasty Presto stores launched in Jersey next year.MD Steve Grocutt, who founded the firm in 1994 with a shop in Mevagissey in Cornwall, told British Baker he expected to have 30 shops in the UK by the end of the year, with motorway services and other travel locations a key area for expansion over high street sites. “The recession has hit the high street hard, so we are only considering a select number of towns with a strong tourist trade,” he said.Pasty Presto’s pasties are made to a bespoke recipe by Proper Cornish, with Viennoiserie from French producer Bridor.last_img read more

Greencore to sell chilled desserts business

first_imgGreencore is to dispose of its chilled desserts facility in Minsterley, Shropshire, to the Müller Dairy UK group.The Irish producer of convenience food released an official statement this morning explaining how the ownership of its manufacturing facility will be transferred to the Market Drayton-based Müller, and the co-packaging arrangement for Cadbury chilled desserts will terminate.The deal is expected to be worth £4.3m, excluding existing stock, and is due to be complete at the start of January 2013. The firm said the transfer of production of other premium desserts lines and related manufacturing equipment to Evercreech will have been completed by this time.Greencore acquired its chilled desserts business from rival Irish convenience food group Uniq, which is Marks & Spencer’s largest sandwich supplier, back in September 2011. The company had reported last month a 49.9% growth in revenue to £567.7m in its first half-year results for 2012, which it attributed to the acquisition from Uniq.Patrick Coveney, chief executive officer of Greencore, said: “Our business has performed strongly in the first half of 2012. The acquisition of Uniq last year has reshaped our group and we are on track to deliver all of the targeted integration benefits.”last_img read more

Sales up 8.2% at Aryzta

first_imgAryzta, the Swiss-based baked goods firm, revealed this morning that its group revenue for six months to the end of January rose by 8.2% to €2.07bn (£1.8bn).Net profit was 5.5% higher at €129.4m, while earnings per share were up 0.5% to 146.4 euro cents.Chief executive Owen Killian said: “Aryzta’s underlying net profit performance was robust despite challenging trading conditions.”The company said that revenue at its food group rose by 5.9% to €1.5bn. with European revenues up 2%, while its North American revenues gained 10.6% and revenues from the rest of the world jumped by 11.8%.Revenues at its Origin Enterprises subsidiary rose by 11.9% to €567.7m for the six-month period.last_img read more

Poll: Is this the end of the ISB?

first_imgThis week revealed the news that Tesco is to close more than 100 in-store bakeries in a shock move.It follows the supermarket chain opening a new bakery in Weybridge, Surrey, which will produce fresh bread and bakery products, as part of its growing Euphorium project. The move will take place in branches across the south-east of England, affecting 600 staff.In response, British Baker wants to know what our readers think.Take our interactive poll below and tell us whether Tesco’s decision marks the end of the in-store bakery.You can also email us your views at [email protected] or tweet us via @britishbaker.last_img read more

Clipper Race Update: Introducing Dell Ambassador Samantha Harper

first_imgThis is an ongoing series of blogs by Dell Ambassadors competing in the Clipper Race, a 40,000 nautical mile race around the world in 70 foot racing yachts. For background on Dell’s involvement, read our initial blog about this exciting race here.The Atlantic Trade Winds Leg 1 : Liverpool, UK, to Punta del Este, Uruguay : 6,400 nautical miles : 33 daysHello! My name is Samantha Harper and I’m one of two Dell Ambassadors in the Clipper 2017 – 18 Round the World Yacht Race.I’m a member of team Dare To Lead (call sign CV25), one of twelve yachts in this years’ race, sailed under the watchful eye of Skipper Dale Smyth. We’ve just wrapped up the first of eight race legs, which has taken us from Liverpool, UK, to Punta del Este, Uruguay, a journey of over 6,400 miles. It’s hard to condense a 33-day passage into a few pages, but I’ll do my best!Race start (August 20th) in Liverpool was a hive of excitement, and as our boat gingerly exited the Canning Dock area, we were thrilled to see the large crowd of friends and family wearing custom-made Dare To Lead t-shirts. As the boats snuck around each other to gain the best position off the starting line, our skipper Dale let out a warning: “Guys, just to let you know, I can be a bit of an aggressive racer – but don’t worry, I know what I’m doing”. This was met with a mix of both trepidation and gleeful anticipation – with the start line meters away, the engine was shut off and things were about to get real!“As our boat screamed into the tight turn with Garmin only a few metres away, we could literally see their crew ducking for cover.ShareOur teams first ‘test’ came shortly after when it was nearing time to round our first ‘mark’ and Garmin, who was alongside us, decided to turn, crossing in front of us. Picture someone on your right making a left-hand turn and cutting you off. This gave us one of two options:  a) slow and bear away to end up behind them, or b) turn alongside even tighter and not give an inch away.You can guess what option Dale chose.  Remember – “Don’t worry”, right?As our boat screamed into the tight turn with Garmin only a few metres away, we could literally see their crew ducking for cover. I’m sure they felt they would be skewered by our bow! Needless to say, Skipper Dale is a very skilled helmsman and he executed that turn with confidence and precision, as our bowman Justin, 70 feet ahead of him sitting in our pulpit, was calling out distances. With the fleet nipping at our heels, the next few hours became a co-ordinated team effort to optimize every tack as we zig-zagged out of the mouth of the river.Once at sea, we did our best to protect our early lead. Our rivals in the first few days were Sanya Serenity Coast, Unicef, and Visit Seattle, but as the first week came to a close some unfortunate changes in the weather forecast meant that the carefully crafted and tactically clever route we had intended to follow landed us squarely in a wind hole and relegated us to back of the fleet. Such is the life of ocean racing. Sometimes a gamble pays off, and sometimes Mother Nature has other plans!Fortunately, in true Dare To Lead fashion, we kept sailing along with our trademark good humour and teamwork. In a 33-day race, so much can change week by week. Friends and family following the race at home may not realize how little we know about other boats. Although each boat has an AIS (Automatic Identification System) number, that beacon only shows up on our ‘radar’ when boats are within a few miles of each other. Instead, every six hours, each Skipper must upload their boats’ latitude, longitude, and speed, which are then transmitted to the fleet. These updates (aka – “the Scheds”), also include a ranking based on those provided positions. At times these rankings seem completely arbitrary… Unless of course the latest Sched puts us a few positions ahead of our rivals– then naturally it must be accurate!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0px8hudgIsRacing is a 24-hour a day job, and our daily routine on board is broken down into two ‘Watches’; half the crew on deck at all times sailing the boat, and half the crew below, eating or resting.Life on board can become monotonous but there also becomes a certain comfort in the simplicity. Eat, sleep, sail, repeat. Small perks become the highlight of a day: the once-a-week bacon for breakfast, seeing a rival boat pop up on the AIS, weather calm enough to take a saltwater bucket shower off the stern (that’s right folks – no real showers for the whole time at sea!), or a surprise email from home.Emails from home have been a huge morale booster on board and we are very grateful to have reliable computer hardware to provide us with the connectivity to reach out to the real world. The crew shares a 14″ Dell Latitude Rugged laptop (aka ‘the Media PC’) for blog writing, composing emails, photo editing, and of course, reading the latest news updates (supplied in condensed form by the Clipper Race Office – sports scores on request!). Our ships Navigation Station is home to a second Dell laptop which runs our navigation, weather mapping, and communications software, and links to our satellite phones. Without these we would literally be lost!Our Trans-Atlantic voyage on Leg 1 has taken us through a variety of temperatures and weather. This has ranged from scorching heat off the Cape Verde islands, to pelting, icy rains as we closed in on Uruguay. The Doldrums, ironically, were anything but calm, and our worst weather came in the form of the 45 knot winds and squalls off Fernando de Noronha as our tired crew retraced our steps towards the Rhum Line after the successful MedEvac of a sick crewmember.The MedEvac to Fernando de Noronha, an archipelago off the coast of northern Brazil, was both a highlight and a lowlight for team Dare To Lead. For all of us, seeing the Jurassic Park-esque volcanic islands appear to rise out of the ocean as we approached was both beautiful and surreal. Having to say farewell to a sick crew member – who became perilously ill while we were in the middle of the Atlantic – was hard. But the race goes on, and we were determined to prove that you should always be on the lookout for Dale and his band of ‘Dark Horses’!With the bulk of the fleet crossing the finish line in Uruguay only hours away from each other, it is obvious that this years’ race is full of talent and competitive teams. We were the fifth boat to cross the finish line, in sixth place overall in the standings after a redress was given to Greenings. Considering we had to travel over 100 nautical miles out of our way for a MedEvac and still managed to overtake a few teams, we feel it’s a very respectable finish!They say, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” and as I sit here in Uruguay contemplating the rapidly approaching start of Leg 2 to Cape Town, South Africa, it’s dawning on me what an incredible journey this race has already been.With South Africa being the home country of both our Skipper and our Sapinda Rainbow Ambassador crew members, team Dare To Lead is ready to make this leg our glory leg! Keep an eye out for us on the official Clipper Race Tracker (we hear it’s addictive!).  Thanks to all friends and family back home for following and stay tuned in a few weeks for my Leg 2 wrap up, where I’ll write a bit more about how we live life at 45 degrees, a summary of our Leg 2 adventures, and reveal the story behind the “Dark Horse” moniker!Thanks for reading,-SamanthaAbout Samantha Harper, crew member, Dare To LeadSamantha is a 37-year-old doctor from Happy Valley-Goose Bay in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The Dell Latitude Rugged Laptop was made for people like Samantha; when she is not sailing 40,000 nautical miles around the world on board Dare To Lead, Samantha splits her time between working in remote communities as a GP, and pushing herself to the limits mountaineering and running ultra-marathons (she has done the infamous Marathon des Sables, a 250 kilometre race in the Sahara Desert, five times). However, the Clipper Race is Samantha’s first sailing experience, and after initially considering only doing three legs, she signed up for the whole circumnavigation, knowing that once she started, she wouldn’t be able to stop until she completed and experienced the entire thing.last_img read more

Vermont Yankee investigators find highest tritium level in new monitoring well

first_imgEntergy Vermont Yankee is reporting today that one of the newly installed monitoring wells, located just to the east of the nuclear power plant’s condensate water storage tank and some underground piping, appears to be closer to the source of a tritium leak because its concentration is 774,825 picocuries per liter. Vermont Yankee engineers working to identify the source of tritium in the plant’s groundwater are installing new wells closer to several plant structures to further characterize the tritium concentration in the groundwater near equipment and buildings. The continuing sampling of monitoring wells should help the investigation team locate the source. The EPA has set 20,000 picocuries per liter as a safe level for drinking water. To date, the tritium samples have been found only in monitoring wells on site in Vernon, and not in any public wells or the adjacent Connecticut River.The well that was first identified with tritium is now at 36,261 picocuries per liter. However, a well about 75 feet to the south of that one that has been as high as 80,458 picocuries per liter, is now down to 69,392. Another recently installed well further south is at 1,940 picocuries per liter, up from a recent level of 1,800. Such variation is as expected with variations of groundwater flow.   As has been the routine during this investigation, this information is being used with hydrology and monitoring studies already under way. The data received is helping direct investigators toward the source. For more details on the tritium investigation, the Vermont Department of Health has a thorough status report on the investigation at this web link: http://healthvermont.gov/enviro/rad/yankee/tritium.aspx(link is external)Also helpful is the Nuclear Regulatory Commission web page on tritium monitoring: http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/operating/ops-experience/grndwtr-contam-trit…(link is external)Source: Entergy Vermont Yankee. 12.4.2010.last_img read more

Thanks! versus Thanks.

first_imgThanks.1.:  kindly or grateful thoughts :  gratitude2:  an expression of gratitude —often used in an utterance containing no verb and serving as a courteous and somewhat informal expression of gratitudeIt is a simple word. Or is it?You write a three page memo that took you two weeks to complete. You send it as an attachment to your direct supervisor. And you get the following response.“Thanks.”Hmmmm.Or a supervisor usually responds with “Thanks!” But today, it was just “thanks.” continue reading » 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

NAFCU engaged as House, Senate committees discuss Equifax breach Oct. 3, 4

first_img continue reading » As details surrounding the Equifax data breach continue to be revealed, NAFCU is engaged with lawmakers as two congressional committees concerned with its consequences have announced dates to hear testimony from Equifax Chairman and CEO Richard Smith.The House Energy and Commerce Committee has invited Smith to appear before the committee on Tuesday, Oct. 3. The Senate Banking Committee will hold its hearing with Smith as a witness at 10 a.m. Eastern Oct. 4.“NAFCU lobbyists have been on the Hill discussing the breach’s impact on credit unions and their members with lawmakers,” said NAFCU Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel Carrie Hunt. “The goal of these meetings has been to advocate for a fair playing field as it relates to data security. Currently, financial institutions bear the brunt of regulations to protect sensitive personal financial data, while retailers and other entities that also store these data are not subject to the same standards, putting consumers at risk.”Hunt also added that the association is working to ensure any new regulatory or legislative requirements that stem from the Equifax breach do not create new burdens on credit unions.Equifax alerted the public on Sept. 7 that hackers had breached its systems, putting 143 Americans’ personal information and financial data at risk. Equifax became aware of this hack on July 29, but investigators later determined the data was taken in mid-May. 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

The public banking revolution is upon us

first_imgAs public banking gains momentum across the country, policymakers in California and Washington state are vying to form the nation’s second state-owned bank, following in the footsteps of the highly successful Bank of North Dakota, founded in 1919. The race is extremely close, with state bank bills now passing their first round of committee hearings in both states’ senates.In California, the story begins in 2011, when then-Assemblyman Ben Hueso filed his first bill to explore the creation of a state bank. The bill, which was for a blue-ribbon committee to do a feasibility study, sailed through both legislative houses and seemed to be a go. That is, until Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed it, not on grounds that he disapproved of the concept, but because he said we did not need another blue-ribbon committee. The state had a banking committee that could review the matter in-house. Nothing was heard of the proposal after that.So when now-state Sen. Hueso filed SB 528 earlier this year, he went straight for setting up a state bank. The details could be worked out during the two to three years it would take to get a master account from the Federal Reserve, by a commission drawn from in-house staff that had access to the data and understood the issues. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more