Premier Foods has responded to “” over the possible sale of its Batchelors brand to noodle company Nissin, by saying that discussions had not gone beyond an “exploratory stage”.
The British group, which also owns brands including Ambrosia, Angel Delight and Bisto, although it did regularly review “options to deliver value for all of its stakeholders” and such reviews did involve discussions with third parties, including Nissin, there was “no current situation where discussions have gone beyond an exploratory stage”.
Shares in Premier Foods were on Monday morning, following the company’s announcement.
Q3 Group sales up 4% compared to same quarter last year
Earlier today, its Quarter 3 trading statement for 13 weeks ended 30 December 2017, which revealed that Q3 Group sales were up by 4%, compared to the same quarter last year, at £261.4 million and Q3 International sales growth was up 26%.
Angel Delight sales grew over 30% following introduction of the ready-to-eat pot range
While sales and volumes of Bisto and Oxo grew in Q3, the star of the show was Angel Delight, which grew by more than 30%, following the introduction of the ready-to-eat pot range launched in 2017.
Batchelor’s delivered its fourth successive quarter of sales growth
The food giant announced that Batchelor’s had delivered its fourth successive quarter of sales growth, which it said reflected the “continued benefits of the Nissin strategic partnership”, with Batchelor’s Super Noodles in a pot delivering over £5 million sales since its launch last year. Soba Noodles have also delivered £2 million in sales.
Record number of mince pies sold
The company also announced that it had sold a record 220 million mince pies in 2017, around 4 million more than in 2016, providing a boost to its non-branded sweet treat sales, which grew 19.6%.
Sales of branded sweet treats were down
However, sales of branded sweet treats were 7.3% lower compared to the previous year, with Cadbury cakes sales reported to be lower in the UK during Q3, which the company said was due to “some short-term capacity constraints”. Mr Kipling cake sales were also lower. The company said Mr Kipling and Cadbury cake sales were impacted by a “move to more optimal promotional activity”.
“…our partnerships with Nissin and Mondelez International continue to deliver strong performances, demonstrating their strategic benefits to us”
Commenting on the trading statement, Gavin Darby, Chief Executive Officer of Premier Foods, said: “We delivered another good quarter of growth, with sales up +4.0% in Q3 and +2.6% in the first three quarters of the year.
“Our International business produced another excellent quarter and our partnerships with Nissin and Mondelez International continue to deliver strong performances, demonstrating their strategic benefits to us. With our leading category positions and commitment to product innovation, our expectations for progress this year remain unchanged.”