Premier Foods sales rise

City A.M. Reporter
Premier Foods, Britain's biggest food manufacturer, said first-quarter sales rose slightly and its cost cut and restructuring programme was on track.

The maker of Bisto gravy and Hovis bread, which has been working to turn its business around, said the consumer environment would be less challenging than 2011, and it would continue to divest some businesses.

Quarterly sales rose one per cent to £427m.

"Our focus for 2012 remains unchanged, to stabilise the business and invest in our recovery," said Chief Executive Michael Clarke, who joined Premier Foods from Kraft last September.

Food manufacturers are facing pressure on margins from rising costs of ingredients and raw materials.

Premier Foods, whose debt had ballooned following the acquisitions of RHM and Campbell Soups' UK and Irish business in 2006, has been selling assets and cutting costs and jobs..