Profits up 3% at Premier Foods
Britain's Premier Foods said first-half profits rose 3 per cent on strong sales of its key brands, and reaffirmed its full-year expectations while remaining cautious amid the current economic environment.
The owner of a string of iconic British food brands like Hovis, Batchelors, Mr Kipling and Sharwood's said trading profit from ongoing business rose to £72.2 million (€90.7 million) for January-June from £70.1 million a year earlier.
Sales from ongoing businesses were down 2.3 percent at £852.3 million.
Power brands sales increased 2 per cent to £418.9 million, owing to strong performances by Loyd Grossman, Batchelors and Mr Kipling.
The company is weighed down by hefty debt built up during a spending spree before the 2007 credit crunch.
Premier Foods, which had a net debt of £1.3 billion as at June 30, is disposing its non-core products to focus on eight key brands including Hovis bread and Sharwood's curry range in a bid to turn around its business.
Premier Foods shares, which have risen about 22 per cent since the beginning of the year, closed at 72.5 pence yesterday on the London Stock Exchange.