Troubled European chilled food group Uniq has slowed its sales decline in the third quarter, following the recent win of a £15m sandwich supply deal with Marks & Spencer – although the company’s desserts arm continues to struggle.

Uniq’s overall third-quarter sales were down 0.7% on the equivalent period last year – marking an improvement on the 1.7% decline posted in the previous six months.

Sales in its food-to-go division grew 4.7% as production began of the M&S sandwiches, but desserts sales slumped 5.8% compared to last year.

Uniq blamed “the increasingly competitive nature of the market, being driven by higher levels of promotional activity” for its ongoing difficulties but  revealed it was planning “significant investment” in the business to improve sales.

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