Premier Foods PLC (LON: PFD) has “increased confidence” in delivering progress from this year onwards following upbeat interim results.
In the six months to 28 September, the producer of Mr Kipling and Bisto reported a £15mln profit, having climbed out of a £2mln loss in the same period last year, while revenue was up 2% to £266mln.
The company recently launched its new brand Plantastic, tapping into the plant-based food market, with new products to be added in the second half.
Over the next months also Mr Kipling will add new mini cakes to its portfolio, following “significant reconfiguration” of the bakery in Stoke-on-Trent.
Net debt of £471mln was an improvement on debt of £510mln a year earlier, with plans to save further costs on operations over the next two years.
The company underwent a change in the board room, with the interim boss, former chief financial officer Alastair Murray, replaced by Alex Whitehouse as chief executive from August.
“New management seems to be bringing more energy, focus and pace to the group, which for the new team is welcome, albeit needs to be sustained,” analysts at Shore Capital said in a note, reiterating the ‘hold’ recommendation.
“Innovation is seemingly evident, including now the launch of plant-based products, whilst the important strategic review is nearing completion, much frankly hinges upon that for the future profile of this moribund stock.”
The market welcomed the results, with shares jumping 8% to 36.05p on Tuesday at noon.