Sunday, 9 August 2009

Homely brands keep Premier's home fires burning

Good, old fashioned, homely brands are clearly the best around – who needs supermarket own-label products? Think back to cosy childhood times and famous names like Birds Instant Custard, Atora Suet and Paxo sage and onion stuffing. The list is endless.

Well, it seems as if homely, established brands, including Mr Kipling cakes, have been exceedingly good for Premier Foods. The company has seen sales of its Branston pickle rise by 41 per cent, Hovis sales are up by 17 per cent, Batchelors soups by 14 per cent and Hartley's jams and spreads by 12 per cent.

Premier's group turnover has risen by 3.5 per cent to £1.24 billion and the company's net debt has fallen from £1.8 billion to £1.48 billion. That's the good news. The bad news is that Premier has reported a pre-tax loss of £30 million in the six months to June 27 2009.

The company ran into financial problems after purchasing its rival, RHM (Rank Hovis McDougall) and parts of Campbells food business.
For full details, click here.

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