Embattled ready-meals giant Bakkavör lost £154m in 2008, but has pledged to return to profit in 2009 - and insisted it will not sell off any part of its business.

The company had £177m of one-off charges, including restructuring costs and the sale of its stake in Greencore .

Operating margins had also shrunk. Sales grew 10% year-on-year to £1.6bn, boosted by Bakkavör picking up a share of the £45m M&S Italian ready-meals contract from Northern Foods, but gross profits fell from £355m to £349m.

Bakkavör's chief financial officer Richard Howes said the year ahead would be better. All restructuring costs had already been accounted for and restructuring would be finished by June. The company would deliver profit next year above the £23m (excluding one-off costs) it would have made in 2008, he added.

"It's important everyone sees Bakkavör for what it's always been: a strong business trading well with its customers," he said. "We have no plans to sell parts of the business."

Howes added the uncertainty surrounding the future of Bakkavör's controlling shareholder Exista (owned by Bakkavör's chair and CEO) would not affect its trading.