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Premier Foods plc (PFD)

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Friday 17 January, 2020

Premier Foods plc

Q3 Trading Update

RNS Number : 0949A
Premier Foods plc
17 January 2020
 

 

17 January 2020

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

 

Quarter 3 Trading Statement for 13 weeks ended 28 December 2019


Strong Q3 performance, profit expectations unchanged & full year Net debt/EBITDA target of 3.0x on track

·   Q3 Group sales up +2.6% and up +2.5% Q3 year to date

·   Q3 UK sales up +3.6% and +3.3% Q3 year to date; 10th consecutive quarter of growth

·   Outperforming the market, with share gains in 7 out of 8 major brands3

·   Mr. Kipling sales up +10% in Q3

·   Non-branded sales returned to growth in Q3

·   Profit expectations for the full year remain unchanged

·   On track to meet target of 3.0x Net debt/EBITDA by March 2020

 

Alex Whitehouse, Chief Executive Officer

 

 

 

Sales % change

Q3

Q3 Year to date

Grocery

Sweet Treats

Group

Grocery

Sweet Treats

Group

 







Branded

0.5%

7.6%

2.3%

2.4%

6.3%

3.5%

Non-branded

(0.8%)

8.8%

3.9%

(0.4%)

(4.2%)

(1.8%)

Total

0.3%

8.0%

2.6%

1.9%

3.8%

2.5%

 

Trading update

 

The Group reported sales growth of +2.6% in Q3 compared to the prior year, particularly reflecting very good Sweet Treats sales which increased +8.0%. Grocery sales grew by +0.3% in the quarter, as a better UK performance was partly offset by weaker International sales. The UK, which represents c.94% of the Group's annual sales, saw revenues increase by +3.6% in Quarter 3 year on year.

 

The Group continues to outperform its markets, with seven of its largest eight brands growing market share on a year to date basis.

 

In the Grocery business, Bisto and Ambrosia both grew sales in the third quarter, reflecting advertising investment for Bisto and continued share gains for Ambrosia. Sales of Paxo stuffing were excellent in the run up to Christmas while Nissin Soba noodles and Cup Noodle continued their very strong trajectory, growing revenues by nearly 70% in the quarter. Non-branded sales declined by (0.8%) in the third quarter as a result of decreased business to business volumes.

 

In Sweet Treats, Mr. Kipling recorded an eighth consecutive quarter of sales growth, with revenues up +10% as the benefits from increased marketing investment and new product launches continue to realise great progress for the Company's largest brand. Mr.Kipling mince pies sales also grew by +10% in the quarter, supported by the  launch of its new mini Mr. Kipling mince pies. In total, the Group sold over 200 million mince pies during the course of 2019; a 7% volume increase on the prior year. Sales of Cadbury licensed product ranges were ahead on a year to date basis, although slightly tempered in December as lower promotional levels on cake offset the launch of new Cadbury cake mixes.

 

As expected, Non-branded Sweet Treats sales returned to growth in the quarter with sales up +8.8% compared to last year. This reflected the lapping of softer comparatives associated with impacts from the Group's logistics transformation programme a year ago.

 

The International business delivered a disappointing result with sales4 (17%) lower in the third quarter. With new leadership now in place, the Group is implementing a revised and more focused approach in order to deliver more consistent sustainable growth, building bigger businesses in selected markets. As it transitions to this new approach, further progress is expected to be deferred to the FY20/21 financial year.

 

In the final quarter of the year, Mr. Kipling will be launching a range of mini pies and tarts including Cherry Bakewells and Fruit Pies. Quarter 4 also sees the launch of Cadbury Crème Egg choc cakes for Easter and Plantastic grain pots.

 

Cost & efficiency

 

As previously announced, the Group is targeting a £5m cost savings programme over the next two years, the proceeds of which will primarily be used to reinvest in its brands. Very good progress is already being made in achieving these savings with further news to follow in due course.

 

Knighton Foods

 

Following an internal review, the Group has decided to fully integrate its Knighton Foods subsidiary into its core UK business. This move is expected to generate a number of commercial opportunities together with a range of operational synergies.

 

Strategic review update

 

As previously announced, the Group's strategic review is nearing conclusion and a further update is expected to be provided as appropriate.

 

Pensions update

 

The triennial actuarial valuation of the Group's pension schemes is continuing and dialogue with all Trustees remains ongoing; a further update will be provided in due course.

 

Outlook

 

The Group has delivered a strong Q3, its key trading period, and this reconfirms its confidence of delivering progress in FY19/20. Its target of 3.0x Net debt/EBITDA is expected to be met by March 2020.

 

~ Ends ~

 

Further information

 

Investors and analysts:

Duncan Leggett, Chief Financial Officer

+44 (0) 1727 815 850

Richard Godden, Director of Investor Relations & Treasury

+44 (0) 1727 815 850

 

Media:

Maitland

Clinton Manning

+44 (0) 20 7379 5151

Joanna Davidson               

+44 (0) 20 7379 5151

 

Conference call

 

A conference call for investors and analysts hosted by Alex Whitehouse, CEO and Duncan Leggett, CFO, will take place today, 17 January 2020, 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: 3875666

 

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 28 December 2019 or 29 December 2018, the 'quarter' or the 'period', as appropriate. Quarter 3 year to date sales data is for the 39 weeks to 28 December 2019 or 29 December 2018.

3.         Market share references are UK based and sourced from IRI, 39 weeks ended 28 December 2019.

4.         International sales growth is stated on a constant currency basis and is disclosed in the Grocery segment for reporting purposes.

5.         Net debt and EBITDA on a pre-IFRS 16 basis.

 

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 and Quarter 3 year to date sales

 

£m

Quarter 3



Quarter 3 Year to date

2019/20


  2018/19


Change



2019/20


2018/19


Change


 














Grocery














Branded

154.0


153.2


0.5%



372.1


363.4


2.4%


Non-branded

27.1


27.3


(0.8%)



72.9


73.2


(0.4%)


Total

181.1


180.5


0.3%



445.0


436.6


1.9%
















Sweet Treats














Branded

52.4


48.7


7.6%



143.9


135.4


6.3%


Non-branded

28.7


26.4


8.8%



40.0


41.7


(4.2%)


Total

81.1


75.1


8.0%



183.9


177.1


3.8%
















Group














Branded

206.4


201.9


2.3%



516.0


498.8


3.5%


Non-branded

55.8


53.7


3.9%



112.9


114.9


(1.8%)


Total

262.2


255.6


2.6%



628.9


613.7


2.5%
















 

 

 


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