Northern Foods said that underlying sales growth in the fourth quarter was down “slightly” compared to the last three months.

The maker of Goodfella’s pizza said it had continued to make progress with cost reduction initiatives and that price increases would “mitigate the significant input inflation seen throughout the year”.

The company said that its biscuit business had seen uplift in sales and profitability after last year's difficult trading.

Northern Foods is due to hold meetings with analysts today and tomorrow ahead of its financial year-end on March 31 and expects to report results “broadly in line with expectations”.