European chilled food group Uniq has reported “poor” first-half results.

In half-year results for the 26 weeks to end October 1, Uniq revealed an increase in operating loss before significant items from £1.2m to £9.6m for its UK business.

Total UK sales were also down 1% to £160.6m, while group debt increased by £45.2m.

Uniq said that the results had “deteriorated significantly” because of a loss of focus in the UK on customer needs, mounting losses at its Minsterley desserts business, a poor summer and increased market pressure in Northern Europe and phasing of new product initiatives in Southern Europe.

Uniq chief executive, Geoff Eaton said: “The financial result in the first-half was poor. This was driven by an unacceptable performance from Minsterley in the UK and some difficult trading conditions in Northern Europe, with actions being taken to address these issues in the second half of this year.”

“My main priority over the next six months is to bring about a marked improvement in the profitability of our UK business, which I believe has the potential for significant growth and development.”