Bakery owner confident over future growth
FOOD producer Premier Foods said it was confident of growing its brands this year as it posted a rise in annual trading profit.
The debt-laden maker of Mr Kipling cakes oversaw a debt refinancing, asset sales, and a shake-up at its bread unit during 2012.
However, it has reported an underlying trading profit of £123.4 million for the year to December 31, after excluding contributions from disposals, which was a 10.6 per cent increase on a year ago, while net debt reduced to £950.7 million.
Gavin Darby, chief executive officer of Premier Foods, said: "Premier Foods has many strengths and great potential. The management team did a great job in 2012 to lay the foundations for future growth and I am very excited to be working with them to develop and grow our power brands in the coming years.
"It's important now to maintain continuity and focus on executing our existing strategies to build further momentum in grocery while rebuilding value in bread."
The group employs around 700 people at Manor Bakeries, in Trent Vale, where Mr Kipling cakes are made.
The Sentinel reported last year how the group had sold off brands including Sarson's vinegar and Branston pickle to help bring down debts.
It is now concentrating on its other brands, including Sharwoods and Bisto.
Mark Moran, chief financial officer, said: "In 2012 we delivered against all of our strategic priorities.
"While it's clear markets will remain challenging in 2013, we believe we have the right strategies in place, including the delivery of further overhead cost savings, to make further progress this year."