Terranova boosts Unigate defence

TERRANOVA FOODS, the chilled food producer, bolstered its defence against the hostile pounds 228.5m bid from Unigate yesterday when it issued strong first- quarter profits. Reporting a 13 per cent rise in profits to pounds 3m for the three months to the end of March, Terranova said the company was well placed to deliver good underlying growth.

The company said these prospects were underpinned by strategic initiatives, including expansion in continental Europe. In Terranova's last chance to issue fresh information on the bid, Terry Stannard urged shareholders to reject it, saying: "Unigate is trying to win the company on the cheap."

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