Premier Foods Sees Higher Profit After Online Christmas Sales Surge
Premier Foods has announced that it expects higher full-year profit after online sales jumped 90% in the third-quarter leading up to the busy Christmas season.
The company expects annual trading profit to be between £145 million and £150 million (€162.7 million), compared with £132.6 million (€148.8 million) that it reported last year.
Premier Foods also signed an agreement with Weston Foods to sell Mr Kipling cakes in the United States, with the first shipments expected to begin in the first quarter of fiscal 2021-22.
Total group sales at the company rose 9% for the 13 weeks ended December 26, ahead of Jefferies's estimates, helped by strong demand for its Sharwood's cooking sauces, Bisto gravy, Batchelors and dessert brand Ambrosia.
"Quarter 3 proved to be another period of exceptional growth, with group sales up 9.0% and branded sales up 12.1%, as people turned to our product ranges in the face of heightened restrictions on out of home eating," said Alex Whitehouse, Premier Foods chief executive.
The company, which has lifted its annual profit forecast twice since the start of its financial year in March, now seeks to increase brand advertising and has new products planned for the fourth quarter.
"Looking to the remainder of the year, out-of-home eating is likely to remain heavily restricted and we therefore expect to see continued high levels of consumer demand for our products," Whitehouse added.
The Mr Kipling cakes maker also said it will redeem an additional £40 million worth of notes due in July 2022.
Meanwhile, the company reported a jump of 43% in its international business sales, partly helped by purchases of its products ahead of the December 31 European Union exit date, and said it does not expect any material impact from tariff changes.