Food giant Northern Foods has said it is on course to meet performance expectations for the first half of the year despite a drop in sales volumes over the period.

Ahead of unveiling its first-half results next month, Northern – the maker of Goodfellas pizza and Fox’s biscuits – said price rises meant total sales were up by 6.5% despite a dip in volumes of 1.7%.

Sales increased by almost 7% at the group’s bakery arm and just over 4% for the frozen foods division.

“Northern Foods continues to make good progress in the development of our business, despite the challenging environment,” said chief executive Stefan Barden. “We have excellent products, a strong balance sheet and are making very good progress in strengthening our core business, which will enable us to take advantage of the opportunities which this environment provides.

“Although profits are weighted to the second half of the year, at this stage we remain on schedule to deliver profit before tax and restructuring in line with expectations.”