Belfast Telegraph

Mr Kipling links up with Bake Off star Paul Hollywood

By Roger Baird

The maker of Mr Kipling cakes has teamed up with Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood to capitalise on the surge in home baking.

Premier Foods said it will launch 12 premium bread, savoury and sweet mixes under the Paul Hollywood name early next year.

It added the products "will be created in conjunction with Paul according to his exacting standards and recipes and reflect his vision to make artisanal baking products". The announcement came as Premier Foods added it had swung to a pre-tax profit of £21.7m in the 26 weeks to October 3, from a loss of £49.1m, beating forecasts as its key brands put in strong performances.

Its branded goods sales reported a 1.6% rise in the second quarter, the first quarterly rise in two years, as Bisto, Oxo, Mr Kipling and Cadbury cakes all boosted their market shares.

During the last 12 months the St Albans-based firm said it had relaunched or created new product spin-offs for key brands such as Mr Kipling, Bisto, Rich Gravy Pastes and Oxo Herbs & More.

The firm's growth came despite the fierce supermarket price war which has seen prices fall for over a year in the sector as major players compete with discounters such Aldi and Lidl.

Its loss a year ago was a result of impairment charges, disposals, various operations and other one-off costs.

Chief executive Gavin Darby said: "The industry backdrop remains a challenging one, but with strategies which are delivering tangible results and significantly higher marketing spend planned for the second half, our profit expectations for the year remain unchanged." The City expects Premier Foods to post a full-year trading profit of around £131m.

Belfast Telegraph