Premier Foods, the maker of Oxo stock cubes and Bisto gravy, has highlighted a strong start to its second quarter, but expects this trend to slow down as people return to eating out of home with the easing of virus-led restrictions.
The Mr Kipling cake maker also said group sales jumped 22.5% for the three months ended June 27, and that its recently-upgraded expectations for the full year remain unchanged.
Last month, the company had forecast revenue and profit for the current fiscal year to beat estimates as the lockdown drove people to cook at home, and said it was unclear as to how consumers' eating habits might change after restrictions ease.
"We have also observed significant increases in household penetration of our brands in the quarter, as Britain has got cooking again and consumers expand their repertoire of dishes prepared at home," chief executive Alex Whitehouse said.
Premier Foods said all its major grocery brands delivered double-digit sales, with strong performances from Ambrosia, Oxo and Sharwood's. Nissin noodles products also proved to be extremely popular as sales more than doubled during the quarter.
Whitehouse also said the company repaid £80 million of its floating rate bonds in the quarter, adding that it is exploring further opportunities to reduce financing costs as it continues to cut net debt.
"As expected, we continued to see strong demand for our Grocery brands in Q1, with consumers eating the vast majority of their meals at home," Whitehouse said.
"We have grown faster than our categories during this period, both in standard retail and online channels. This reflects not only the strength of our market leading brands but also the excellent performance of our colleagues across the supply chain to ensure product availability while working in close collaboration with our customers to meet this elevated demand."
News by Reuters, edited by ESM. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.