Belfast Telegraph

Bisto maker profits slide but its sales stay steady

By Roger Baird

The maker of Mr Kipling cakes and Bisto gravy has reported lower annual profits but said the company was starting to benefit from better sales trends.

Premier Foods announced that its trading profit for the year to April 4 fell 6.4% to £131m despite new ranges such as Bisto Simply Casserole and Oxo Herbs & More.

But the St Albans-based firm, which said last year that more than 95% of households bought one of its products, added that sales over its last quarter were broadly flat to continue an improving trend.

Overall, it posted a full-year loss of £135.6m in the year due to charges on sold businesses and plant disposals, compared to a £4.4m pre-tax profit previously.

The business, which also owns Ambrosia desserts and Loyd Grossman sauces, said the UK grocery market remained highly competitive, characterised by the growth of convenience and online stores as well as discounters.

But it added that the rise of discounters was beginning to slow, and that consumers were starting to enjoy rising levels of disposable income.

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