Premier Foods sales suffer slide

BRITAIN’S largest food producer Premier Foods warned yesterday its results would be squeezed by increasingly tough trading conditions as consumers shy away from supermarket own-label goods, sending its shares four per cent down to close at 18p.

The maker of Branston Pickle and Bisto gravy said group sales fell 4.2 per cent in the three months to 30 September – the biggest decline in three years, which it said could reflect a drive by economy-conscious shoppers to cut food waste. The drop in sales was driven by a 6.4 per cent fall in non-branded goods.