Premier Foods plans Knighton factory closure with 300 jobs at risk – but Mr Kipling and Oxo group records double-digit sales growth

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  • 300 Premier Foods jobs at risk due to planned Knighton factory closure plan
  • The Group said it is entering into consultations with staff on the proposed closure.

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Premier Foods is planning to close its own brand powdered beverage plant at Knighton in Adbaston, Staffordshire, putting 300 jobs at risk.

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Oxo and Mr Kipling’s group said closing the factory would cost £10m but would immediately boost profits and brand share of sales.

Knighton, Premier Foods said, “is not in line with the group’s growth strategy and is marginally unprofitable.”

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Premier Foods said it is in consultation with staff about the proposed closure.

Jobs at risk: Premier Foods plans to close its own brand powdered beverage plant at Knighton in Adbaston, Staffordshire.

The group’s sales rose 12 percent in the three months ended December 31 as inflationary pressures on consumer budgets did not affect Christmas spending and demand for the group’s cakes and sauces. The group benefited from higher prices for buyers.

Jefferies analysts say Premier Foods sales look strong after quarterly earnings from supermarkets including Tesco and Sainsbury, “further evidence of a strong Christmas in the British consumer nation that belies our predictions of a ‘winter of discontent’.”

The group, which is one of the UK’s largest retail and wholesale food vendors, maintained its full-year guidance but said entry cost inflation remains high.

This pressure is offset by annual price increases and cost cuts.

The British food and nutrition sector is facing severe cost pressure and supply disruptions, and rising prices have caused the biggest decline in British household income since at least the 1950s.

In the 13 weeks to the end of December, the group performed particularly well in its grocery business, where sales rose 17.4% and demand was especially strong in the run-up to Christmas.

In the sweets division, sales fell 0.9%, while sales in the international segment rose 10%.

Ambrosia custard sold well, as did newer products such as Bisto sauce pellets for pigs in blankets, while Mr. Kipling posted another “strong performance” and increased his share of the minced meat pies market, according to the report. group message. The recent acquisition of The Spice Tailor also posted double-digit growth.

CEO Alex Whitehouse said: “These results illustrate the continued appeal of our portfolio of market-leading brands in such a challenging environment and demonstrate the strength and resilience of our brand growth model.

“Our major food brands performed particularly well for us, continuing to grow faster than the market with a 66 basis point share.

“This Christmas, across the country, people are cooking again, which is a testament to the fact that the best restaurant in town is indeed at home.

“Many of our top brands have grown strongly, and established seasonal favorites including Ambrosia Custard and new products such as Bisto gravy pellets for pigs in blankets have proven to be very popular.”

Analysts at Peel Hunt said: “Things are on track throughout the year – we’re not changing our PBT forecasts at this stage, but strong results in our most important quarter mean there’s room for growth in our numbers.”

Promotions Premier Foods fell 0.18%, or 0.20 pence, to 113.80 pence this afternoon, down just over 4 percent over the past year.

Finsbury Food reports a sharp increase in sales

Finsbury Food bakery today reported a jump in first half sales, helped by price recovery initiatives.

In a six-month update to the end of December, the company welcomed “encouraging” results despite continued macro and cost inflation concerns, with total sales up 14.7% to £190.9m.

Finsbury pointed to solid UK retail performance, an ongoing recovery in food service and a continued strong performance in the overseas division.

The group said: “As stated in the group’s November 2022 AGM statement, headwinds in the food sector in the current fiscal year exceeded those experienced in fiscal year 22.

“Achieving strong first half results in this context is further confirmation of the group’s quality product range, the viability of our operating strategy and the long-term outlook for our chosen markets.”

Finsbury Food promotions dropped slightly today and are down 0.43 percent or 0.39 pence to 90.11 pence, down just over 5 percent last year.

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