Premier Foods posted a 1.7% increase in its quarterly sales today (18 July) fuelled by higher sales of its Mr Kipling cakes, as the company battles to retain under-fire CEO Gavin Darby at Wednesday's annual meeting.
Premier Foods, which has been under pressure from two major shareholders to oust Darby, said it is identifying strategic opportunities to speed up the company's turnaround.
"We are pleased to report another quarter of growth, with sales up +1.7% compared to last year," said Gavin Darby, chief executive, Premier Foods
"Our biggest brand, Mr Kipling, led the charge with an excellent performance on the back of its recent brand relaunch with sales up +14% in the UK. Over the last six months, we have delivered sales growth of +4.5% which goes to show that our strategy of product innovation and working closely with our strategic partnerships is delivering results."
Premier Foods said that calendar H1 group sales were up 4.5%, and the company's expectations for the full year remain unchanged.
"With further exciting innovation across our branded portfolio to come in the months ahead, our expectations for progress in the year remain unchanged," Darby added.
Last week, Premier Foods largest shareholder, Nissin Foods, said that it plans to vote in favour of retaining Darby as CEO, however other shareholders have raised dissenting voices.
Oasis Management has led the call for Darby to be removed, a call that has been echoed by hedge fund Paulson & Co.
"The company desperately needs new management who are willing to put stakeholders' benefits first," Orkun Kilic, a portfolio manager at the New York-based firm, told Reuters last week.