Premier Foods Full-Year Results: What The Analysts Said

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Premier Foods Full-Year Results: What The Analysts Said

Premier Foods has posted a group revenue increase of 0.6% for the full-year, with trading profit rising by 4.5%.

Commenting on its performance, Alastair Murray, acting chief executive, said that the Mr Kipling owner has "delivered consistent progress over the last two years, growing revenue, trading profit, adjusted earnings and reducing net debt".

Here's how leading industry analysts viewed its performance:

Fiona Cincotta,

"Premier Foods has posted a commendable sales performance in the fourth quarter, mostly thanks to the strength of its Batchelors soup and Mr Kipling cake brands. But the company's bottom line for the full year has been blighted by write downs in the value of its Sharwoods curry sauce and Saxa salt products, making for an overall mixed performance.

"Premier has continued to chip away at its debt pile, but at around £470 million it still looks cumbersome for a company with a £303 million market value that has just posted a £43 million annual loss.


"Very little has been offered today for investors to sink their teeth into on the company's restructuring efforts, and we still don' t know who will be the new CEO, even though Gavin Darby left back in January. With a break-up of the company still very much in play it's perhaps not surprising that Premier Foods is struggling to find a permanent replacement fast."

Clive Black, Shore Capital

"Premier Foods does not have a permanent CEO. An going strategic review continues, which will be revealed to the market in due course. As part of quite recent strategic thinking a proposed sale of Ambrosia was abandoned, presumably because an expected price was not achieved.

"Meanwhile, this relatively high trading margin business remains heavily indebted (FY2019; c£470m), working hard to makes steps rather than leaps in the right direction from a leverage perspective, FY2019 net debt (ND)/EBITDA was 3.2 times (x). Within such a context, we are afraid to say that Premier is set to remain something of a zombie company to our minds, Chairman Keith Hamill has not yet been able to mastermind a change in fortunes.

"As to the FY2019, Premier has delivered a mixed year to our minds with progress in a number of core brands offset by operational challenges in logistics and a decline in international revenue. We note that for FY2020 the Group plans to step up capital and marketing expenditure, which to our minds can reasonably lead to an expectation of building revenues but easier margins and lesser ND reduction; we shall finesse FY2020 financial expectations in due course."


Martin Deboo, Jefferies

“PFD (Premier Foods) has delivered ahead of consensus expectations at the year open ... despite an exceptionally warm summer in 2018 and hiccups in international and the supply chain. A confidence-building update in the round." [Source: Reuters]

© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine

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