Branded products help Premier Foods grow in 2009

Premier Foods, Britain’s biggest food manufacturer, has posted a 4.5% rise in year profit and is forecasting further growth in branded sales and efficiency gains in 2010.

Premier Foods
Premier Foods products

The firm, whose brands include Hovis bread, Branston pickle and Bisto gravy, announced a profit of £323m in the year to December 31. Group sales rose 2.2% to £2.66bn, with sales of branded products rising 6.5%

Premier says Hovis performed particularly strongly, with market share up 3 percent over the year to 25.9%. It recently launched a £5m television advertising campaign to support its conversion to 100% British wheat and signed Olympic cycling champion Victoria Pendleton up for a three-year deal to be its brand ambassador.

Other strong performers were Ambrosia and Hartley’s desserts, Lloyd Grossman and Homepride cooking sauces and Batchelor’s soup and noodles.

Last week. Premier Foods Foodservice, the owner of brands including Bisto and Sharwood’s, appointed former Procter & Gamble marketer James Arnold to the new position of head of marketing.

Premier is also looking to recruit several brand leaders in an effort to become “the best marketing team in foodservice”.

Premier Foods says its most popular brands, including Hovis, Mr Kipling and Bisto have benefited from supermarkets experiencing a bumper Christmas, and a healthy 2009 m.

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