Premier Foods warns of falling sales


Premier Foods warns of falling sales
Premier Foods, the company that produces Hovis Bread and Loyd Grossman sauces, has warned that its like-for-like sales will be lower than the corresponding period of last year.

In its half-yearly results to June 30th it cites its exit from low-margin own label contracts and hot weather in April as a factor that impacted its sales.

The company said it looked at the business period as a "step-change" for the company as it tried to successfully integrate two acquired companies, RHM and Campbell's, into its operations.

However, it expects to achieve the £17 million of synergies targeted for 2007.

The foodstuff manufacturer also foresees difficult times ahead for its desserts business due to the end of Cadbury's chocolate beverage licence.

Premier Foods will also dispose of its frozen foods business which produces frozen pies, ready meals and desserts.

Over the next two quarters the firm will new seeded varieties of Hovis bread and will diversify the range of Loyd Grossman sauces. It will also add to the Batchelor's and Oxo soup ranges.

In July Premier Foods announced that it would be shutting down factories in Ledbury, Herefordshire, Bristol, Reading and Manchester by 2009.

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