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Premier Foods makes headway as sales and profits rise, debt pile shrinks (a little)

The company was guardedly optimistic on the outlook
Smash advert from the 1970s
Back to the future: The company is the maker and purveyor of that 1970s classic, Smash instant mash, beloved of certain alien lifeforms

Premier Foods PLC (LON:PFD) , the maker of Ambrosia tinned desserts, Angel Delight and Bisto gravy, said its profits grew and debt pile shrank marginally in the year ended March.

Net debt was £496mln, down from £532mln a year ago, but still £90mln more than Premier's market capitalisation.

The group, which also makes Loyd Grossman sauces, Cadbury and Lyons cakes as well as Smash instant mash, saw its turnover grow by 3.6% to £819.2mln, which translated to operating profit of £69.3mln, up almost 13%.

Interest and restructuring costs

Factoring in interest costs, pension contributions and restructuring charges, the figure fell to £20.9mln - though it should be pointed out this was progress on the year earlier when pre-tax profits were £12mln.

Premier chief executive Gavin Darby was guardedly optimistic about the prospects for the business. 

"In the year ahead, we expect to make further progress on our key priorities, building on the strong momentum we created in 2017/18," he told investors.


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