Premier Foods review weighs all options

By Helen Gilbert

- Last updated on GMT

Premier Foods owns brands ranging from Mr Kipling and Ambrosia to Batchelors
Premier Foods owns brands ranging from Mr Kipling and Ambrosia to Batchelors
The wholesale break-up of all Premier Foods brands, including Mr Kipling, is one option it is considering, after hiring advisors at boutique firm d'Angelin & Co to help with its strategic review.

Food Manufacture​ understands the company is exploring all avenues as part of the process in the coming months.

In February, the Ambrosia custard and Bisto maker announced it would be examining its strategic options following discussions with its largest shareholders in February and also appointed Daniel Wosner, Orkun Kilic and Simon Bentley as non-executive directors.

In the same month, a market commentator told Food Manufacture​ that Premier Foods may look to sell off others assets as an alternative way to reduce debt after it pulled the plug on the sale of its Ambrosia brand​.

“Clearly they didn’t get the price that they had hoped, which is a disappointment in terms of debt reduction for the group,”​ the source said at the time. “The lack of sale suggests that they may look at other assets as a way of reducing debt.”

Drop in sales

In January Premier Foods reported a drop in sales in its third-quarter trading results​.

Group sales were down 2.2% to £255.6m for the 13 weeks to 29 December 2018, representing a loss of £5.8m compared with the same time the previous year.

The manufacturer attributed the loss to decreased sales of lower margin non-branded sweet treats, down 20.7%.

Continued growth of the Mr Kipling brand helped Premier claw back sales across the branded sweet treats sector (up 2.7%), while UK grocery sales were up 2.7% thanks to the Batchelors brand’s eighth quarter of consecutive growth. 

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