Mr Kipling Campaign Powers Premier Foods Growth In First Quarter
Premier Foods has reported higher group sales in its first quarter as its Mr Kipling cakes and Batchelors brands benefitted from a TV advertising push.
The company said group sales rose 1.1% in the 13 weeks ended June 29, helped by a 10% rise in Mr Kipling sales, which was relaunched last year.
Group sales in Britain rose 2.6%, while international sales fell 18% as sales in Ireland slowed due to the unwinding of Brexit related stock in Irish customers' supply chains.
The company said it expected the international business to return to sales growth in the coming quarters, even as it continues with its strategic review.
"I am pleased to report an encouraging start to the year with Group sales up +1.1% and ahead +2.6% in the UK," commented Alastair Murray, the group's acting chief executive. "As we previously noted, we are increasing our consumer marketing investment this year and both Mr Kipling and Batchelors have already benefitted from TV advertising campaigns in the first quarter.
"Many of our largest brands have built on strong category positions and grown market share, and we achieved branded growth in the quarter of nearly 3%," Murray added, saying that the group's full-year expectations remain unchanged.
Premier Foods decided to review options earlier this year after former boss Gavin Darby left in January.
He was under shareholder pressure following a drop in the share price after a takeover attempt by U.S. food maker McCormick & Co Inc fell through three years ago.
The Ambrosia rice pudding maker is still on the lookout for a permanent chief executive.
The company said Cadbury cake sales grew in the UK because of the later timing of Easter compared to last year and improved seasonal ranges.
Premier said to support the demand growth in Mr Kipling, it would launch a new range of 'Signature' cakes in the second quarter.
The company, which stuck to its full-year guidance, said it expects better performance in the second half of the year.