HJ Heinz said the group’s market share for its iconic Heinz beans grew to more than 51% in the UK during the third quarter and its ketchup market share increased to more than 70%.

Heinz posted a fall of 1.9% in group sales volume fell as the company continues to refocus on 15 brands, led by its flagship ketchup which generates 30% of sales.

Group sales for the third quarter rose 9.1% to $2.11bn driven by favourable pricing, better exchange rates and acquisitions.

In Europe Heinz sales increased 14.7% helped by higher pricing related to beans, soup and infant feeding. It also plans to launch Salad Helpers sold complete with tuna and dressings to complement its Petit Navire and John West pouch seafood and flavoured tuna lines.

Heinz said its new upside down Easy Squeeze bottles for its ketchup achieved an 80% retail distribution by the end of its sixth week in the US.

However, earnings dropped 25% due to charges related to the spin-off of its tuna, pet food and domestic baby food units to Del Monte in December.