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Premier Foods (PFD)

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Premier Foods maintains guidance as revenue slips

17 Jan 19

LONDON (ShareCast) - (Sharecast News) - Mr Kipling and Bisto owner Premier Foods reported a drop in third-quarter revenue on Thursday amid logistics problems, but backed its expectations for the full year.
In the 13 weeks to 29 December 2018, group sales fell 2.2% as the company's logistics programme impacted Sweet Treats sales.

Branded sales were up 0.2% during the period, while UK grocery sales excluding international were 2.7% higher. Sales at Sweet Treats were down 20.7% compared to the same period last year as the business experienced lower sales volumes due to the implementation challenges associated with its logistics programme.

The company said its trading profit and adjusted earnings per share expectations for FY18/19 remain unchanged, while net debt at the year-end is expected to be lower than the prior year.

In addition, Premier said it remains in talks with third parties about the potential disposal of its Ambrosia brand and will provide further updates in due course.

Chief executive officer Gavin Darby said: "Our third quarter of the year saw resilient trading through the key Christmas period in UK Grocery and Branded Sweet Treats with our top 5 brands all growing market share. Our Batchelors brand has now delivered eight consecutive quarters of sales growth and we saw another good performance from Mr Kipling.

"We faced into two sets of challenges in the quarter - lower International sales and our logistics programme, which as expected, affected cake sales volumes early in the quarter. As we look to the fourth quarter, we expect to see a good performance from Branded Sweet Treats, we have a good innovation plan lined up and our expectations for trading profit and adjusted eps for the full year are unchanged."

Premier Foods also said on Thursday that chief financial officer Alastair Murray will assume the role of acting chief executive officer on a temporary business, as CEO Darby is due to leave at the end of this month, as previously announced.

At 1020 GMT, the shares were up 1.1% to 34.41p.

Note 1: Prices and trades are provided by Digital Look Corporate Solutions and are delayed by at least 15 minutes.


Market Data

Currency UK Pounds
Price 37.70p
Change Today -0.25p
52 Week High 40.85p
52 Week Low 29.80p
Volume 651,302
Shares Issued 846.66m
Market Cap 319.19m


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