“Outstanding” year for St Albans based Premier Foods

Lucy Neave

Annual revenues have neared £1bn at Premier Foods, the food manufacturer whose brands include Mr Kipling, Ambrosia, Homepride and Loyd Grossman sauces.

In the 53 weeks to 3 April 2021 the company turned over £947m, up from £847.1m in the previous financial year.

Adjusted pre-tax profits increased to £117.9m from £93.3m.

Premier Foods remained fully operational throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and completed its disposal of Hovis in the second half of the period, raising gross proceeds of £37.3m.

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Chief executive Alex Whitehouse hailed an “outstanding year” with “very strong financial metrics across the board”.

He added: “Throughout the year, we continued to drive our branded growth model, launching a series of new product ranges, including many healthy options such as Sharwood’s low sugar stir fry sauces and increasing marketing investment with six of our major brands benefitting from TV advertising. 

“This, along with a robust performance from our supply chain, ensured we delivered growth ahead of the market. Sales of our brands online more than doubled and our continued focus on this channel led to further market share gains. In overseas markets we are now clearly seeing the benefits of last year’s change in strategy with double digit growth in each quarter and 23 per cent in the full year.”

As a result of its performance, the company is reinstating dividend payments for the first time in 13 years.

“We have also just completed the refinancing of a new revolving credit facility with a refreshed bank group, extending maturity to at least 2024, and are today announcing the launch of a new fixed rate bond,” Whitehouse said.

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