Premier Foods sees strong festive trading, maintains upbeat outlook

British food manufacturer Premier Foods (LSE: PFD) reported robust festive season trading on Tuesday and reaffirmed its full-year profit guidance.

The company, which owns brands such as Mr Kipling, Ambrosia and Bisto, said total sales rose 14% in the three months to December 31st, driven by strong demand for its grocery products.

In a trading update, Premier stated that grocery sales increased 12% in Q3 with market share up 121 basis points. Sales of branded sweet treats climbed 21% while international revenue was up 11%. Sales of retailer own-brand products grew 15%, reflecting the impact of price rises. “The lower promotional price points we introduced in the third quarter have positively impacted performance while also helping consumer budgets go further,” said CEO Alex Whitehouse.

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The stellar Q3 sales growth puts Premier Foods in a good place to meet its full-year expectations. The company continues to trade strongly and is “well on track to deliver against its previously raised profit expectations,” it said. Premier is forecasting a 10% rise in trading profit to about £174 million for financial 2024, compared to £157.5 million in financial 2023.

With its brands resonating well with consumers, Premier said it will extend lower pricing on some products, such as Loyd Grossman cooking sauces, into Q4. The share price dipped 0.3% to 139.72p on Tuesday morning despite the encouraging update. Premier Food shares have climbed 22.9% over the past 12 months.