Mr Kipling, Batchelors and Bisto brands, have fallen sharply after the firm said it expects profits to be significantly lower this year.The UK food manufacturer said its profits would be 10% lower this year due to rising costs.
The weaker pound has pushed up the price of ingredients such as sugar, cocoa and palm oil. The company said shoppers were turning to cheaper non-branded products. Premier Foods’ shares were down more than 15% in early Wednesday trading. “Recovery of significant input cost inflation in certain areas is taking longer than originally foreseen,” said Chief Executive Gavin Darby, The group is about to start a three-year cost cutting plan which aims to make savings of £10m by next year. The company said that some of its big brands, including Bisto, Oxo, Loyd Grossman, Ambrosia and Batchelors, were performing well. And the group sold over 216 million mince pies in 2016, 17% more than the previous year. However, as in other areas, sales shifted away from the Mr Kipling label in favour of the non-branded equivalent. Overall, in the third quarter the company’s sales were 1% lower than the same period last year. But while branded sales were 3.8% down, non-branded sales were up 11.6%.