Mr Kipling owner Premier Foods sticks to full-year profit guidance

PREMIER Foods, Britain&rsquo;s biggest food manufacturer, yesterday said profit forecasts for the full-year remained unchanged after trading in May and June continued in line with trends seen in the first four months.<br /><br />The consensus forecast for underlying pre-tax profit in 2009 currently stands at &pound;176m.<br /><br />The group, whose brands include Mr Kipling cakes, Bisto gravy, Hovis bread and Branston pickle, said sales in its grocery division had continued to see good growth driven by new product launches and promotional activity. Premier said its bread business had seen excellent sales and market share growth as the company continued to invest in its re-launched Hovis brand.<br /><br />The group said its chilled division continued to see good sales growth from meat alternative Quorn and retailer branded products but profitability had been reduced by a high level of marketing investment.

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