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22 May, 2008 - 07:36 By Staff Reporter

Premier Foods hungry for success

A group sales increase of 6.3 per cent has put the UK's biggest food producer, St Alban's-based Premier Foods, on track to meet the company's revenue expectations for a year of major importance to the firm.

The producer of some of the UK's most popular food brands - Bisto, Hovis, Branston pickle, OXO, Mr Kipling - experienced unprecedented growth last year following the acquisition of Campbell's in 2006 and then RHM in 2007, which produced and almost three-fold revenues increase from £840.7m to £2.25 billion. Premier Foods will be eager to see the successful integration of these two new massive operations and the news issued in its interim management statement for the 17 weeks ended 26 April 200 - that numbers are on track for the year was welcomed by chief executive, Robert Schofield. This integration is one of three key themes Shcofield says has dominated the group's activities in the first four months of 2008 and his continues "apace" with the focus now shifting to manufacturing integration. "Preparations for the transfer of production are progressing well and we now intend to close all seven remaining plants in the programme by the end of 2008," said Schofield. Commenting on the other themes, Schofield said: "We have made good progress in recovering commodity inflation through a combination of price increases and cost savings. "Thirdly, we are pressing ahead with a fundamental rejuvenation of Hovis, which will be unveiled in the second half. This will reinvigorate one of Britain's finest food brands with benefits for the company and consumers alike."

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