Premier Foods plans marketing surge after profits boost

Premier Foods is planning a surge in marketing spend for brands including Mr Kipling, Bisto and Homepride over the next six months, after reporting a 2.1% rise in first half trading profit.

Mr Kipling: Premier Foods brand
Mr Kipling: Premier Foods brand

The company saw sales fall by 6.1% year-on-year to £364.4m, thanks to a combination of mild weather and a "more disciplined" approach to promotional activity.

However, Gavin Darby, Premier Foods' chief executive, said the business was able to retain a "tight control" of costs and margins, and is now in a position to launch a "strong programme of consumer marketing and new product introductions" in the second half of the year.

The firm said it plans to spend twice as much on consumer marketing over the coming six months than it did between January and June, including a TV, outdoor and social media campaign to promote the re-launch of its Mr Kipling brand.

Premier Foods is also planning the first major campaign for its Homepride brand in 10 years, to support a recent packaging redesign, as well as launching new products under its Bisto, Oxo, Batchelors and Sharwood’s brands.

Darby said: "Following an update of our category plans, we remain convinced of the medium and long-term potential for our brands to deliver profitable growth.

"We plan to continue investing in innovation, marketing, our supply chain capabilities and our people to create long-term shareholder value."

Earlier this year, Premier Foods sold its controlling stake in bakery brand Hovis to US investment firm The Gores Group, in an effort to rejuvenate the bakery brand.

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