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Premier Foods plc (PFD)

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Tuesday 16 January, 2018

Premier Foods plc

Trading Statement

RNS Number : 9436B
Premier Foods plc
16 January 2018
 

 

 

Premier Foods plc (the "Company" or the "Group")

Quarter 3 Trading Statement for 13 weeks ended 30 December 2017

 

 

·     Q3 Group sales up +4.0%; year to date Group sales up +2.6%

·     Q3 International sales3 growth up +26%

·     Market share gains in 6 of 8 major brands year to date

·     Nissin & Mondelez International strategic partnerships contributing strongly to sales growth

·     Record 220 million mince pies sold in 2017

·     Expectations for progress in the full year remain unchanged

 

Gavin Darby, Chief Executive Officer:

 

"We delivered another good quarter of growth, with sales up +4.0% in Q3 and +2.6% in the first three quarters of the year. Our International business produced another excellent quarter and our partnerships with Nissin and Mondelez International continue to deliver strong performances, demonstrating their strategic benefits to us. With our leading category positions and commitment to product innovation, our expectations for progress this year remain unchanged."

 

Sales % change

Q3

Q3 Year to date

Grocery

Sweet Treats

Group

Grocery

Sweet Treats

Group

 







Branded

3.4%

(7.3%)

0.7%

1.9%

(4.2%)

0.3%

Non-branded

13.9%

19.6%

17.0%

9.9%

18.7%

13.6%

Total

4.8%

2.2%

4.0%

3.1%

1.4%

2.6%

 

Trading update

 

Group sales in the third quarter were £261.4m, an increase of +4.0% compared to the same quarter a year ago. Branded sales were +0.7% higher in the quarter, and Non-branded sales grew strongly, up +17.0%. These results reflect the robust performance of the UK food market and the benefits of the Group's strategic partnerships.

 

In the first three quarters of the financial year, sales grew by +2.6% and over this period, six of the Group's largest eight brands grew market share in their respective categories.

 

Total sales in the Grocery business were 4.8% higher in the period, with growth in both the Branded and Non-branded parts of the portfolio. Branded sales were ahead +3.4% and Non-branded sales increased by +13.9%, the latter mainly due to continued growth from existing contracts and new business wins notably in Stuffing.

 

Batchelors delivered its fourth successive quarter of sales growth, reflecting the continued benefits of the Nissin strategic partnership. Batchelors Super Noodles in a pot, the convenient light meal product manufactured by Nissin, has now delivered over £5m sales since its launch last year. Additionally, Soba Noodles has delivered £2m sales since the Group received distribution rights and the iconic Nissin Cup Noodle product is now also in the market.

 

Sales and volumes of Bisto and Oxo both grew in the quarter, benefitting from media advertising. In Desserts, Angel Delight continued its strong performance from Q2 into Q3, growing over +30% following the introduction of the convenient ready to eat pot range in 2017, while Ambrosia sales were lower. Cooking sauces also delivered sales growth in the period, with improved trends from Sharwood's and Homepride in particular.

 

International sales3 increased by +26% in the quarter, 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 USA.

 

Sweet Treats sales increased by +2.2% in the period and while Branded sales were (7.3%) lower than the prior year, further strong growth was seen in Non-branded sales, which grew +19.6%.

 

Cadbury cake sales continued to grow strongly in International markets, but were lower in the UK during Q3, following some short term capacity constraints. Additionally, Cadbury sales were impacted by a move to more optimal promotional activity compared to the comparative period, albeit this follows a good run of growth over the previous two years. Looking to the fourth quarter, the Group has just launched new Cadbury 'Heroes' cupcakes, aligned to the consumer trend of indulgence, which is the first time Cadbury cake has utilised the 'Heroes' brand. Sales of Mr Kipling cakes were also lower in the quarter, again following a move to more optimal promotional activity. In the fourth quarter, a new range of low sugar Mr Kipling slices have been launched in flavours such as Smashing Strawberry and Awesome Apple. This new range has 30% less sugar than other slices at an average of 92 calories per slice.

 

Non-branded Sweet Treats sales benefitted from increased volumes of Mince Pies compared to the prior year, contract wins in seasonal lines and growth in the discounter sector. The Group sold a record 220 million mince pies in 2017; approximately 4 million more than the prior year.

 

Cost reduction and efficiency programmes

 

Cost savings from the Group's SG&A cost reduction programme are flowing through in both business units as expected, however overall supply chain costs are running ahead of expectations.

 

The first stage of the three phase transition to a new centralised warehousing and distribution logistics operation has now been completed, despite some initial implementation challenges. The next two phases of the Group's transformation programme are on track to be completed during the course of FY18/19, after which the full benefits are expected to be realised.

 

Outlook

 

The Group's expectations for progress in FY17/18 remain unchanged. Net debt at the year end is expected to be lower than the prior year. The rate of deleveraging is on track to accelerate in future years as the Company pursues its target of reducing Net debt/EBITDA to below 3.0x.

 

~ Ends ~

 

For further information, please contact:

 

 

Investors and analysts:


Alastair Murray, Chief Financial Officer

+44 (0) 1727 815 850

Richard Godden, Director of Investor Relations

+44 (0) 1727 815 850



Media:

Maitland


Sundeep Tucker 

+44 (0) 20 7379 5151

Joanna Davidson

+44 (0) 20 7379 5151

 

Conference call

 

A conference call for investors and analysts hosted by Gavin Darby, CEO and Alastair Murray, CFO, will take place today, 16 January 2018, at 9.00am, details of which are outlined below.  A replay of the conference call will be available on the Company's website later in the day:  www.premierfoods.co.uk/investors/results-centre

 

Telephone number:

0800 376 7922 (UK toll free)


+44 20 7192 8000 (standard international access)


Conference ID: 3777308

 

 

Notes to editors:

1.    All financial data detailed above is unaudited and has not been subject to review by the Company's auditors.

2.    All sales data relates to the 13 weeks to 30 December 2017 or 31 December 2016, the "quarter", as appropriate. Quarter 3 year to date sales data is for the 39 weeks to 30 December 2017 or 31 December 2016.

3.    International sales growth is stated on a constant currency basis.

4.    Market share references are sourced from IRI, 23 December 2017.

 

Certain statements in this management statement are forward looking statements. By their nature, forward looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties or assumptions that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by those statements. Forward looking statements regarding past trends or activities should not be taken as representation that such trends or activities will continue in the future. Accordingly, undue reliance should not be placed on forward looking statements.

 

A Premier Foods image gallery is available using the following link:

http://www.premierfoods.co.uk/media/image-gallery

 

Quarter 3 sales

 

£m

2017/18


  2016/17


Change


 







Grocery







Branded

154.1


149.1


3.4%


Non-branded

26.6


23.4


13.9%


Total

180.7


172.5


4.8%









Sweet Treats







Branded

47.4


51.1


(7.3%)


Non-branded

33.3


27.8


19.6%


Total

80.7


78.9


2.2%









Group







Branded

201.5


200.2


0.7%


Non-branded

59.9


51.2


17.0%


Total

261.4


251.4


4.0%









 

Quarter 3 sales - year to date

 

£m

2017/18


  2016/17


Change


 







Grocery







Branded

368.8


361.9


1.9%


Non-branded

67.0


60.9


9.9%


Total

435.8


422.8


3.1%









Sweet Treats







Branded

128.1


133.7


(4.2%)


Non-branded

50.9


42.9


18.7%


Total

179.0


176.6


1.4%









Group







Branded

496.9


495.6


0.3%


Non-branded

117.9


103.8


13.6%


Total

614.8


599.4


2.6%









 


This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
 
END
 
 
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