Northern Foods said that pre-tax profit was down 28.7% to £75.4m for the year to April 3. Overall sales were up 8.5% to £1.54bn.

The makers of Goodfella’s pizza said that the disappointing results were due to a period of restructuring and cost reduction, which has seen the company, selling off brands such as Fox’s Confectionery, Batchelors, Emile Tissot and Eden Vale.

Northern Foods chairman, Peter Blackburn said: “Although this has been a difficult and disappointing year for Northern Foods, and we recognise that much remains to e done, I am confident that we have begun to take the right actions to equip the business to compete in this most demanding climate.”

The loss of a major savoury products contract and the hot summer resulted in operating profit in the company’s convenience businesses falling 23% to £56.1m.

The share price of Northern Foods had been under pressure prior to this announcement amid speculation that a possible takeover of Marks and Spencer by billionaire Philip Green could adversely impact on its main suppliers.