Premier Foods gets helping hand from Mr Kipling treats as weather sparks soup slideComments Off on Premier Foods gets helping hand from Mr Kipling treats as weather sparks soup slide
The British sweet tooth rescued Ambrosia-to-Oxo-maker Premier Foods’ third quarter, as the company’s star brand Mr Kipling Cakes helped to deliver a 6.5% increase in sweet treat sales.
Strong sales of sugary treats, including 185 million mince pies, helped the company report flat total year-on-year sales in the final quarter, after warm weather deterred shoppers from buying some of its soups and cook-in sauces.
However, shares fell by 6% to 37p as the third-quarter numbers revealed how vulnerable the manufacturer still was to declining food prices.
Boss Gavin Darby said: “With food prices declining by at least 2%, the only way we can grow our business is to bring out new products and innovate,” Darby said.
Batchelor’s soups, Ambrosia custard and cook-in sauces sold in lower volumes in the final quarter.
Total sales were flat at £245 million, with grocery sales falling by 2.7% in the quarter, in contrast to the 6.5% rise in sales of cakes, biscuits and treats.
Premier next month launches a range of Paul Hollywood bread mixes and cake mixes, to cash in on the Great British Bake Off popularity.