Premier Foods FY results: ‘challenging’ year brings £12m profits slump

Full-year profits at Mr Kipling owner Premier Foods have fallen by almost 10% in what the company described as a challenging year.

Premier’s underlying trading profits fell 9.3% to £117m, the company announced today (16 May) in its full-year results, while adjusted profit before tax was down 11.8%.

The business reported a 1.4% year-on-year decline in sales to £790.4m, with underlying sales down 1%.

“This financial year has been a challenging one for the industry, with the return of food inflation and changing retailer promotional strategies,” said Premier chief executive Gavin Darby.

“Despite this, we have grown market share in six of our eight largest brands, outperformed many of our peers in the latter part of the year and accelerated international sales growth to 18%.”

In January, Premier Foods became one of the many UK suppliers to say they would be increasing prices in the wake of the Brexit referendum and the consequent fluctuation in the value of sterling.

Today Darby added that the business was continuing to invest in brand innovation and marketing, that its customer relationships remained strong, and that it had recently agreed a £32m reduction in cash payments to its pension schemes over the next three years.

Recent innovations by the business included the national roll-out of its first gluten-free Mr Kipling products.

Referring to the recent agreement to renew its licence with Mondelēz International to produce and sell Cadbury cakes, Darby said he was excited by global strategic relationships such as this and Premier’s deal with noodle supplier Nissin.

“This year has started on a solid footing; we are very pleased to announce an extension of our bank facilities and the proposed issue of a new bond. We plan to deliver progress in FY17/18, while noting this progress is expected to be weighted more to the second half of the year.”

Premier recently announced a cost savings programme expected to deliver £20m over the next two years.

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