Premier Foods Reports 3.1% Drop In First Quarter Sales
Premier Foods has reported that sales decreased by 3.1% for the first quarter of its financial year, ending 1 July 2017.
The company, which manufactures brands such as Bisto and Batchelors, recorded a 7.9% drop in sales of branded grocery products, in line with the group's expectation.
It notes that grocery sales were adversely impacted by lower market volumes as a result of the warm weather in June, but adds that the business saw 'encouraging market share gains' in major retailers.
In spite of the overall drop in sales, Premier Foods recorded a strong performance in certain areas. Sales of sweet treats, including Mr Kipling and Cadbury cakes, were up by 1.4%, boosted by the introduction of new product ranges.
Non-branded grocery sales also experienced an increase of 8.9%, benefiting from increased sales at Knighton Foods.
Meanwhile, the company's international business continued to grow, with sales up 20% last quarter. Premier Foods notes that this unit has now delivered growth for eleven successive quarters.
“Our first quarter sales were lower than last year, as we expected, primarily due to lower sales volumes in the grocery categories, notably desserts," said Gavin Darby, Premier Foods CEO.
The company says that it remains confident of delivering growth in quarter two, through continued market share gains and pricing benefits.
"At the retail level we have continued to outperform our markets and industry peers, our international business grew 20% in the quarter, and our cost savings programmes are on track," added Darby. "We expect to report positive sales growth in the second quarter, broadly flat sales in the first half and our expectations to deliver progress in the full year are unchanged.”
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.