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Premier Foods Expects Full-Year Boost Following Strong First Quarter

Premier Foods expects revenue and trading profit to exceed current estimates this year, encouraged by a 20% sales jump in the first-quarter due to stockpiling during coronavirus lockdowns across the UK.

The company reported a 6% rise in adjusted pretax profit to £93.3 million (€103.1 million) for the year ended March 28.

Changing Habits

But the company added that it was unclear as to how consumers' eating habits might change as lockdown measures eased over the coming weeks.

Analysts had expected an adjusted pretax profit of £93 million, according to a company compiled consensus.

Shares in the company were seen rising about 5%, according to premarket indicators.

"One of the most prevalent trends we have seen during the lockdown is that Britain has got cooking again, with particularly high levels of demand for items relating to meal preparation, including cooking sauces, gravy and baking ingredients," chief executive Alex Whitehouse said.

England's pubs, restaurants and hotels will be allowed to re-open on July 4 in the next stage of easing the country's coronavirus lockdown, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday.

Marketing Investment

The maker of Bisto gravy and Oxo cubes plans to increase consumer marketing investment and said its cost savings programme is now expected to deliver ahead of its original £5 million target over the next two years.

The company cut its net debt by £61.8 million to £408.1 million and said it expects to reduce it further this year.

The recent spate of positive announcements bode well for Whitehouse, who took the helm last year and has been credited with turning around Premier's UK business.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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