Home   Kent Business   County news   Article

Batchelors factory in Ashford helps boost revenues for Premier Foods, but losses mount up

By Chris Britcher

One of the nation's biggest food manufacturers - with a major production facility in the county - has reported a £42.7million loss in its financial results for the year ending March 30, 2019.

Premier Foods, which operates the Batchelors factory in Ashford, had some sweet spots in the figures - with its Mr Kipling brand seeing growth of 12% following a relaunch in the UK - but it was hit by pensions and "operational challenges" as well as a 12.5% dip in international sales.

The year has been challenging for the firm, which saw its CEO Gavin Darby step down in January and confirmation it intended to sell off its Ambrosia custard brand.

Premier Foods announced preliminary financial results today (10260083)
Premier Foods announced preliminary financial results today (10260083)

Overall, revenues were up 0.6% over the year, with quarter four revenues up 3.1%.

It delivered a trading profit of £128.5m - up 4.5%.

The report saw strong performances from its Ambrosia, Batchelors, Sharwood's and Soba ranges.

The Batchelors Cup-a-Soup factory in Ashford
The Batchelors Cup-a-Soup factory in Ashford

In addition, it intends to launch a new vegan range - Plantastic.

Alastair Murray, acting chief executive officer, said: "Premier Foods has delivered consistent progress over the last two years, growing revenue, trading profit, adjusted earnings and reducing net debt.

"In the last year, Mr Kipling, our largest brand, grew 12% following its successful brand relaunch in the UK and in addition Ambrosia, Batchelors, Sharwood's and Soba also displayed healthy growth. While we saw a decline in international revenue and experienced significant operational challenges with the final phase of our logistics transformation programme, our improved structural resilience still resulted in us growing trading profit by 4.5%.

The Batchelors Factory in Ashford helped contribute to Premier Foods revenue increase
The Batchelors Factory in Ashford helped contribute to Premier Foods revenue increase

"This year we plan to increase investment in both capital projects and consumer marketing, with up to five of our biggest brands expected to benefit from TV advertising.

"We have plans to launch an exciting new brand, Plantastic, using plant- based ingredients, in response to current consumer trends and we expect our international business to return to double digit growth in the coming year.

"While the first half of the financial year 2019/20 is expected to be slower than last year, reflecting the timing of marketing investment, we expect to make further progress over the next 12 months thanks to our continuing pipeline of new product innovation and strong customer relationships.

"We remain focused on reducing our levels of net debt and expect to deliver a similar level of debt pay-down in the coming year."

Join the debate...
Comments |

Don't have an account? Please Register first!

The KM Group does not moderate comments. Please click here for our house rules.

People who post abusive comments about other users or those featured in articles will be banned.

Thank you. Your comment has been received and will appear on the site shortly.


Terms of Comments
We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions to the reader comments but we may intervene and take such action as we think necessary, please click here for our house rules. If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report abuse button, contact us here, email multimediadesk@thekmgroup.co.uk or call 01634 227989.

Follow us

Most popular

Kent Travel News

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More