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Premier Foods Plans To Shut Manufacturing Site, To Affect 300 Jobs

Premier Foods plans to close a beverage manufacturing site in the UK, affecting about 300 jobs, the company said on Thursday, that after reporting higher third-quarter sales on robust demand and new product launches.

The maker of Mr Kipling cakes and OXO cubes said it is entering into talks for the proposed closure of its Knighton site, which manufactures powdered beverages.

The company's sales rose 12% in the three months ended 31 December.

However, Premier Foods retained its full-year outlook, and said that input cost inflation remained high.

The group was offsetting these pressures by raising prices annually and cutting expenditure.

The results come as Britain's grocery sector battles costs-of-living pressures and supply disruptions due to the conflict in Ukraine, with surging prices having caused the biggest squeeze on UK household income since at least the 1950s.

Third Quarter Performance

Commenting on the results, Alex Whitehouse, chief executive officer, said that the groups major grocery brands produced a particularly good set of results for us, continuing to grow faster than the market, taking 66 basis points of share.

"Across the country, people got cooking again this Christmas, demonstrating that the best restaurant in town really is at home. Many of our leading brands grew strongly, with established seasonal favourites including Ambrosia custard and new launches such as Bisto pigs-in-blankets gravy granules all proving very popular.

"Mr Kipling had another strong performance, with the introduction of our non-HFSS Deliciously Good Festive Pies helping to grow our Mince Pie market share. Meanwhile, our International business has now reported another quarter of double-digit sales growth, with Sharwood's growing over 20% following major new listings in Canada."

Inflation 

Whitehouse, highlighted that input cost inflation remains at elevated levels, and Premier Foods continue to take action to offset this inflation through a range of measures.

"With strong trading momentum as we enter our final quarter of the year, and with more brand investment and new product launches to come, we are well on track to deliver on expectations for the full year," he added. 

News by Reuters, additional reporting and edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more A-brand news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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