(Press Association) Ambrosia custard and Bisto gravy maker Premier Foods has narrowed its losses after securing a hefty jump in sales from its international business.
The group has served up a half-year pre-tax loss of £1.2m for the six months ending in September, a significant drop from the £8.7m loss recorded for the same period last year.
Revenues also picked up by 1.5% to £353.3m, driven by a strong second quarter and a 23% jump in sales from its international operation.
Mr Kipling and Cadbury demand
Global growth came from strong demand for Mr Kipling and Cadbury in Australia, with the group eyeing a boost from a further expansion of Asian food brand Sharwood’s across the United States.
The group said it was on track to hit its annual financial targets for the year, and had seen net debt fall 4% to £535.3m.
Shares in the firm were up more than 6% in early morning trading on the London Stock Exchange, as investors cheered a brighter performance from the firm.
Chief executive Gavin Darby said: “We are pleased to report a return to revenue growth of 1.5% in the first half of the year.
“A key highlight was our strong performance in the second quarter, with volume driven revenue up 6.2% after a challenging first quarter. The cost efficiency programme we launched earlier this year is on track to deliver the expected benefits.
“We completed the issue of a new £210m high yield bond in June and our Net debt was £21m lower than the same point last year; a little ahead of our plans.”