220 million mince pies contribute to Premier Foods increased sales
Premier Foods, which is home to a number of household brands including Batchelors and Mr Kipling, saw its group sales increase by 4pc to £261.4m (€294m) in the three months to 30 December.
In the first three quarters of the financial year, sales grew by 2.6pc to £614.8m, compared to the same period in 2016, according to a trading update from the company.
The group’s strategic partnerships with Japanese food company Nissin and Cadbury-owner Mondelez, as well as a robust performance of the UK food market contributed to the sales growth.
In addition, the company sold a record 220 million mince pies in 2017.
"Our international business produced another excellent quarter and our partnerships with Nissin and Mondelez continue to deliver strong performances, demonstrating their strategic benefits to us," Gavin Darby, CEO of Premier Foods, said.
"With our leading category positions and commitment to product innovation, our expectations for progress this year remain unchanged."
Non-branded sales grew strongly in the three month period, up 17pc year-on-year.
The company’s Batchelors portfolio delivered its fourth successive quarter of sales growth, reflecting the continued benefits of the Nissin strategic partnership, Premier Foods said.
Batchelors Super Noodles in a pot, which is manufactured by Nissin, has now delivered over £5m in sales since its launch last year.
Sales and volumes of Bisto and Oxo both grew in the three month period, benefitting from media advertising.
Meanwhile international sales increased by over a quarter during the three months, reflecting continued strong progress in Australia, the launch of Mr Kipling and Cadbury cake in New Zealand, and a number of new customer listings for Sharwood's in Europe and the US.
While Cadbury cake sales continued to grow strongly in international markets, sales were lower in the UK during the three months, following some short term capacity constraints.
Yesterday Premier Foods announced that discussions on the sale of its Batchelors portfolio had not gone beyond an "exploratory stage".
Responding to speculation over the weekend concerning a possible £200m (€225m) sale of its Batchelors brand to Nissin, the company said that its board had made no changes to the company's strategy since its last strategic update, which was delivered with its preliminary results in May last year.