Premier Foods buoyed by Hovis advertising

LONDON - Premier Foods, whose brands include Hovis and Branston Pickle, has reported a 6.5% increase in branded food sales in 2009, buoyed by the performance of its flagship bread brand Hovis.

The company reported sales of £2.66bn, up 2.2% on the year, and said it was confident of lifting its £1.68bn branded food sales again in 2010. It increased its marketing spend by 11% on the year to £91m.

Strong performers in the Premier Foods portfolio included Hovis, Batchelor's soup and noodles and Loyd Grossman and Homepride cooking sauces.

Sales of Hovis increased from £303m to £349m. Premier singled out its advertising campaigns for Hovis as fundamental to its growth of the bread brand - which it says accounted for 26.6% of the branded bread market last year.

Across its chilled unit, Premier reiterated its commitment to pushing Quorn, its meat-free brand, in overseas markets.

Across the group, Premier said that increased promotional spend - reacting to price cuts by rivals - partially offset its trading profit.

Commenting on the results, chief executive Robert Schofield said in 2009 the group "strengthened our balance sheet, cut debt, increased trading profits and returned to positive earnings".

 

 

 

 

 

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