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Bakkavör Group: announces results for fiscal Q1/2008

Reykjavik / IS. (bk) This week Agust Gudmundsson, Chief Executive Officer of the Icelandic Bakkavör Group, commented the group´s results for fiscal Q1/2008 as follows: «The Q1 results are disappointing. They are impacted by the continued tough trading conditions with further increases in raw material costs compounded by currency pressures. In addition, United Kingdom sales and performance were also heavily affected by the restructuring of our ready meals operations that we started last year, but which we expect to deliver long-term benefits. The current economic climate is also believed to have affected sales volumes in the United Kingdom fresh prepared foods market in Q1. Although we believe that 2008 will remain challenging, we expect to return to sales growth in the United Kingdom in the second half of the year. In Continental Europe sales were strong, growing nine percent year-on-year and performance in Asia remained robust. We see significant opportunities outside the United Kingdom and remain focused on our expansion in Continental Europe, Asia and the United States to ensure the future growth of the Group. Reflecting this commitment, we have acquired five businesses this year to date, in China, Hong Kong, Italy, and the United States. Furthermore, we announced that we have an economic interest in 10,9 percent shareholding in Greencore Group PLC. We view this as a strategic holding that meets our business philosophy and clearly reflects our commitment to the fresh prepared foods sector» (press release).