Premier Foods plans to ramp up supply chain spend ahead of Christmas

Premier Foods plans to ramp up supply chain spend ahead of Christmas

Premier Foods, which makes Mr Kipling and Cadbury cakes, plans to spend most of its earnings from the first half of the year on its supply chain.

The company says it is spending to keep higher stock levels going into the Christmas season.

It cited that as a reason for recording £23.2m of outflow in the six months to October 2.

Premier Foods highlighted a shortage of lorry drivers, who are a key part of the supply chain especially during the festive season.

“Much of our Christmas volumes have been produced and is now sitting in our warehouses and will be shipped over in the next few weeks. We are the peak of that now, it is essentially done,” Premier Foods boss Alex Whitehouse said.

The company posted £30.7m in pretax earnings for the six months to October 2, a 39.2% drop compared with a year earlier, and guided to £25m in capital expenditure (capex) for the year as it invests more across the supply chain.

In the half-year period, Premier Foods, which also makes Oxo stock cubes and Bisto gravy, said capex was £6.3m.

“With further inflation now evident across a variety of input costs, the group will be taking a range of actions which it expects will be effective later this financial year,” Premier Foods said.

Its half-year revenue also fell 6.5% to £394.1m due to a tough comparative with a year earlier, when people cooked more at home due to Covid-19 enforced lockdowns.