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    Premier Foods reports strong revenue, profit growth   

    Premier Foods, one of the UK’s leading food manufacturers, has on Thursday announced its preliminary financial results for the 52 weeks ending 30 March 2024, showcasing robust performance and growth across various segments.

    The company’s headline revenue surged by 15.1 per cent, with branded revenue seeing a 13.5 per cent increase, bolstered by strong branded volume growth in the fourth quarter. Grocery revenue climbed by 16.7 per cent, while Sweet Treats revenue rose by 10.6 per cent. Premier Foods also reported a full-year market share increase of 29 basis points, with both the Grocery and Sweet Treats divisions gaining share in the second half of the year.

    Trading profit exceeded expectations, growing by 14 per cent compared to the previous year. Adjusted profit before tax increased by 15.1 per cent to £157.9 million, and adjusted earnings per share went up by 6.4 per cent, reflecting a rise in the tax rate. The company’s profit before tax jumped by 34.7 per cent to £151.4m, while profit after tax saw a 22.8 per cent increase, with basic earnings per share up by 22.6 per cent to 13.0 pence.

    “This has been another really strong year for the business with considerable progress across all our key financial metrics and five pillar growth strategy,” said Alex Whitehouse, chief executive. “In the UK, branded revenue increased by 13.6 per cent, accompanied by 29 basis points of market share gain, as we continued to outperform the market. Our brands continue to demonstrate their relevance to consumers, helping them cook and prepare nutritious and affordable meals during what has been a challenging time for many people.”

    Whitehouse highlighted the success of Premier Foods’ major brands, noting that Ambrosia has become the company’s fourth £100m brand, partly due to the popularity of the premium Ambrosia Deluxe range and its extension into breakfast options like porridge pots. The company’s partnership with Nissin remains strong, with Nissin growing by an average of 54 per cent over the last five years.

    Premier Foods has significantly invested in its manufacturing sites, with capital expenditures increasing to £33m. This investment is aimed at driving efficiencies and fostering growth through product innovation. The company’s expansion into new categories has been particularly successful, with a revenue increase of over 70 per cent, led by Ambrosia porridge. International sales grew by 12 per cent, and The Spice Tailor brand has exceeded performance expectations, now distributed in 10 countries. Premier Foods also acquired FUEL10K, which is now fully integrated and performing well.

    “We continue to maintain our strong financial discipline; leverage reduced to 1.2x Net debt/EBITDA this year, our lowest ever level, and we are proposing another 20 per cent increase in the dividend,” Whitehouse added. “We recently announced the suspension of pension deficit contributions, significantly increasing our free cash flow, which enhances our ability to invest in infrastructure and pursue M&A opportunities to deliver future growth. We have a strong set of plans for this year, across each of our strategic pillars and with our return to volume growth, we are on track to deliver on full year expectations.”

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