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Premier Foods Annual Sales Rise On International Growth

Britain's Premier Foods today reported a 3.6% rise in full-year sales helped by its international business and partnerships with Nissin and Mondelez.

"After a slower start in the first quarter, performance accelerated during the year as planned, with revenue in the second half up 5.3 percent and 7.0 percent higher in quarter four," Chief Executive Gavin Darby said.

The company said food sector sales demonstrated stronger trends through the year, particularly in the second half, when compared with non-food sales.

The maker of Mr Kipling cakes and Oxo stock cubes benefited from a 25% jump in international sales boosted by partnerships with noodle-maker Nissin and candy maker Mondelez.

"Strategic partnerships with Nissin and Mondelez International delivered 55% of the revenue growth," the company said.

Double-Digit Growth

The company also said it expects its international business to continue to deliver strong double-digit growth over the medium term.

Full-year group underlying sales for the year ended March 31 was £819.2 million ($1.11 billion), up from £790.4 million, the company said.

Adjusted profit before tax rose about 6% to £78.6 million.

Premier Foods said net debt was £496.4 million, down £26.8 million from last year.

The company has a March 2020 target to lower its net debt to under three times EBITDA.

Premier has struggled under a heavy debt burden and faced pressure from investors after it rejected a twice-improved takeover bid from U.S. rival McCormick Foods in 2016.

News by Reuters, edited by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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