Premier Foods expects its full-year profits to come in above market expectations, after consumers splurged on its products during the festive season.
The company, which makes cakes, sauces, snacks and desserts, now expects trading profit of at least £145 million (€179.9 million) for the fiscal year ending April, ahead of analysts' average estimate of £140.7 million (€168.8 million), according to a company-compiled consensus.
"The strong momentum from the first half of the year continued into the key Q3 trading period, with our brands growing by 11.3% compared to two years ago," commented chief executive Alex Whitehouse. "This was well ahead of the market across all our categories and resulted in very encouraging share gains.
"This performance continues to underline the popularity of our brands but also demonstrates the strength of our established branded growth model, with many of our brands supported by advertising campaigns and new product innovation during the quarter."
The London-listed company's third-quarter sales fell 1.8% from a year earlier, as restrictions were eased compared with 2020 when lockdowns had most people eat at home.
However, they were still 7% above pre-pandemic levels in 2019. The Mr Kipling brand had its 'best ever Christmas', the company said.
"The principal takeaway for us is that PFD have maintained good underlying sales momentum, in a year of tough comps and have protected margins, in a year of high cost inflation," analysts at Jefferies said.
Premier Foods, which recently announced a new ESG strategy, had spent most of its earnings from the first half of the year to furnish its stock and improve its supply channels constrained by labour shortages.