Premier Foods hails ‘biggest ever Christmas’ in Q3 trading update

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

The new Mr Kipling ‘Best Ever’ signature mince pies proved a success over Christmas 2023. Credit: Premier Foods
The new Mr Kipling ‘Best Ever’ signature mince pies proved a success over Christmas 2023. Credit: Premier Foods

Related tags Finance

Premier Foods enjoyed its “biggest ever Christmas” in 2023, with Q3 group sales up 14.4% year-on-year.

The company's sales for Q3 were valued at £352.7m, up from £308.2m for the same period in 2022/23, a result that puts Premier Foods on track to meet its raised profit expectations for the full financial year.

The sweet treat category enjoyed a strong quarter in particular, with year-on-year sales up 21.3%, while branded sales increased by 12.7%. Elsewhere, grocery sales increased by 11.9% compared with 2022/23.

In November, Premier Foods lowered its promotional prices in response to the falling inflation rate and the group has confirmed it will action further discounts on products such as Loyd Grossman cooking sauces and Mr Kipling Bakewell Slices during Q4.

Premier Foods CEO Alex Whitehouse said that “festive favourites such as Bisto, Oxo and Paxo​” contributed to the group’s “biggest ever Christmas​”, with the added availability of new products providing consumers with more choice than in the past.

Meanwhile, the group sold nearly 190m mince pies during Q3, an increase of 4m on 2022/23, a trend that Whitehouse attributed to the “new Mr Kipling ‘Best Ever’ signature mince pies​”.

We delivered a very strong performance in our important third quarter with double-digit sales growth across the group, underlined by particularly strong market share gains of over 120 basis points​,” Whitehouse continued.

Our International business had another very good quarter, growing sales by 11%, delivering progress in our strategic markets. Sales in new categories more than doubled, with Ambrosia Porridge pots and Mr Kipling and Angel Delight Ice-cream both standout performers. Meanwhile, The Spice Tailor continued to grow strongly, achieving distribution gains in target markets, while FUEL10K integration into the group is progressing in line with plan.”

Looking ahead to the group’s full year prospects, Whitehouse added: “With another strong period of trading behind us, and great plans for the coming months, we are well on track to deliver on profit expectations for this year.”

In other news, Arla Foods has announced that it is open to sale of the Melton Mowbray creamery in Leicestershire.

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