Premier Foods has highlighted power brand Mr Kipling as its ‘stand-out performer’ in its latest trading results for the quarter to 31 December 2014. 

The cake brand delivered increased sales and share gains with an acceleration in December, despite power brand sales being down overall (3.5%) in the final quarter to last year, though there was an upturn in December.

Mr Kipling, Premier’s largest brand, grew share, volumes and sales, which has been credited to its major relaunch in the second half of the year, as well as a strong performance from its seasonal range and improved in-store execution.

The results shot the brand to its highest market share for more than a year, delivering a retail year-on-year increase of 28% in December, and sold more cakes in the run up to Christmas than at any other time in the previous two years. Its progress is expected to further increase following television advertising to air in the coming quarter.

The new Snack Pack line is also set to more than double capacity.

Overall, Premier Foods achieved its highest quarterly market share for three years and its highest December market share for four years with a trading profit for the year of £131m “in line with expectations”. Net debt at the close of the year was £567.6m, again as expected.

Strong start to 2015

Gavin Darby, chief executive, said: “I am pleased with the improved branded sales trends in the fourth quarter, and particularly our key December trading period, in what continue to be challenging market conditions.

“Over the year as a whole, we achieved a great deal to set the company up for future growth. This included a major capital restructuring to diversify and secure our sources of funding, a new organisation structure to improve our focus and agility and a further reduction in cost and complexity to help fund our investment in marketing, new products and organisational capabilities.

“While the grocery market continues to evolve, we enter 2015 in a stronger position. We will continue to invest behind our innovation, marketing and category based strategies and work closely with our customers to deliver category growth.”