Premier Foods Posts Full-Year Sales Increase, Boosted By International Growth

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Premier Foods Posts Full-Year Sales Increase, Boosted By International Growth

Britain's Premier Foods on Tuesday reported a 3.6% rise in full-year sales helped by its international business and partnerships with Nissin and Mondelez.

"After a slower start in the first quarter, performance accelerated during the year as planned, with revenue in the second half up 5.3% and 7.0% higher in quarter four," Chief Executive Gavin Darby said.

The company said food sector sales demonstrated stronger trends through the year, particularly in the second half, when compared with non-food sales.

The maker of Mr Kipling cakes and Oxo stock cubes benefited from a 25%jump in international sales boosted by partnerships with noodle-maker Nissin and candy maker Mondelez.

'Strategic Partnerships'

"Three important drivers of this performance were innovation, our International business and our strategic partnerships with Nissin and Mondelez International," Darby added.


"International has been the star performer with sales growing +25%, and are almost double the level of three years ago, while the benefits from our Nissin and Mondelez International partnerships together contributed 55% of our revenue growth."

The company also said it expects its international business to continue to deliver strong double-digit growth over the medium term.

In terms of individual brand success stories, Darby noted that Batchelors (sales up 11%) is now the fastest-growing in the company's portfolio, "having been turned around from decline three years ago to double-digit growth for the past year. This followed the launch of new products designed to meet consumer trends such as Batchelors Super Noodles pots, which sold over 13 million pots in the past year."

Full-Year Sales

Full-year group underlying sales for the year ended March 31 was 819.2 million pounds ($1.11 billion), up from 790.4 million, the company said.


Adjusted profit before tax rose about 6% to 78.6 million pounds.

Premier Foods said net debt was 496.4 million pounds, down 26.8 million pounds from last year. The company has a March 2020 target to lower its net debt to under three times EBITDA.

"In the year ahead, we expect to make further progress on our key priorities, building on the strong momentum we created in 2017/18," Darby added.

Premier has struggled under a heavy debt burden and faced pressure from investors after it rejected a twice-improved takeover bid from U.S. rival McCormick Foods in 2016.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. Additional reporting by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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