Mr Kipling owner sees sales fall as pandemic comfort eating wanes

The owner of Mr Kipling, Bisto and Angel Delight has revealed a fall in sales despite bosses saying they successfully navigated the global supply chain issues hitting the economy.

Premier Foods revealed sales in the six months to October 2 dropped 6.5% to £394.1 million, with pre-tax profits down 39.2% to £30.7 million.

However, bosses pointed out this was up 7.5% and 105% respectively on a two-year basis, with numbers for last year skewed as households stockpiled treats and food during the pandemic.

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The fall in profits was due to banking cash from the sale of the Hovis brand a year earlier.

Premier Foods has published its latest results in the City.

Chief executive Alex Whitehouse said: “Our brands have performed especially well, with growth versus two years ago of 11.4% and increased market share in both grocery and sweet treats, illustrating the continued success of our branded growth model.

“I am particularly pleased with how well the business is successfully navigating the widely reported industry-wide challenges including logistics, labour shortages and input cost inflation to deliver such a strong set of results, which again underlines the robustness of our operating capabilities.”

He also pointed out that there had been strong growth in the three months to October 2, with revenues up 0.4% compared with a year ago.

The company did not say whether prices would be rising, but did note that inflation is starting to bite.

It said: “With further inflation now evident across a variety of input costs, the group will be taking a range of actions which it expects will be effective later this financial year.”