Uniq, the European Convenience Food Group, has reported a decline of 0.6% for its sales for the 13 weeks over the Christmas period to 25 December.

The company reported that although trading over the third quarter was disappointing in the UK, it has won significant new desserts business with Tesco and its strategy to create the leading UK own-label desserts business is well on track.

The new Tesco business, which will commence in April 2005, is expected to amount to £20m a year.

However, Uniq also said that annual sales from its Spalding site will be impacted by the loss of £12m worth of business with Sainsbury, who has decided to consolidate its supplier base in the prepared salads market.

On this issue the company said: “We have today commenced consultation which may lead to a reduction in headcount of approximately 180.”