- Cold storage group Norish posted an 18% rise in annual profit, even as sale slipped, as cost cutting helped expand margins.

Pre-tax profit for the year through December rose to £1.94m, while revenue fell 12% to £36.8m.

The company declared a full year dividend of 1.8 euro cents, up 9% on-year.

Norish said it anticipated a year of 'strong profit growth' in 2019.

'In our cold store division, the year has got off to a strong start in the first two months of the year.'

'Management continues to focus on maximising both sales mix and pricing, in a market that is currently more favorable to cold storage businesses, than it has been at any time in the most recent past.'

'Focus on underlying cost improvement will continue.'

'We look forward to further improving returns in this division during the current year.'

'The UK frozen food sector is currently the fastest growing retail category, growing at 4% per annum.

'A combination of factors is driving this growth including growth in online shopping premiumisation of the category, as well as providing a solution to food waste.'

This growth comes against a background of a cold store market which has seen a lack of significant investment over an extended number of years.'

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