United Biscuits impresses with 2011 upswing

Ben Southwood
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UNITED BISCUITS enjoyed robust profit and revenue growth in 2011, its annual accounts disclosed, a performance that is sure to buoy its private equity owners’ hopes of selling off parts of the firm.

Pre-tax profit for the maker of McVitie’s digestives and Penguin biscuits rose 4.7 per cent to £156.6m in 2011, based on revenue which grew 5.5 per cent to £1.12bn.

This positive news will provide a fillip for owner Blackstone, which has been trying to sell the firm for some two years, with suitors over the years including Chinese giants Bright Foods and Wahaha.

Recently the US private equity behemoth has been lining up a deal which involves hiving off the smaller salty snacks business, after failing to complete a deal selling the group as a whole.

Analysts expect Kellogg and Intersnack, the German maker of Pom Bear crisps, to bid for the snacks branch, which is valued at roughly £500m.

Blackrock acquired United Biscuits for £1.6bn in 2006.

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