• Continuing trading profit down 18%
  • Underlying trading profit up 10.6%
  • Bakery sales down 0.7%
Efforts to refocus and restructure the business meant the underlying result was up by 10.6%

Efforts to refocus and restructure the business meant the underlying result was up by 10.6%

Premier Foods plc's share price was up 4.25% this morning (21 February) as the Hovis maker booked an improvement in its underlying results. 

For the 12 months to the end of December, Premier's continuing trading profit fell 18% to GBP154.7m (US$235.5m). However, ongoing efforts to refocus and restructure the business meant the underlying result - stripping out disposals and discontinued contracts - was up by 10.6% to GBP123.4m.

Sales for the bakery division, excluding milling, declined 0.7% to GBP497.1m for the year, while total sales for the unit dropped 0.7% to GBP688.5m. Changes to customer and product mix, contract losses and poor wheat quality also had an impact on divisional contribution, which was down by GBP24.8m to GBP26.9m for the year.

The group made an underlying operating profit of GBP96.3m in the period, from a loss of GBP176.3m last year.

Continuing revenues slipped 11.5% to GBP1.76bn, while underlying sales, excluding milling, totalled GBP1.35bn, up 3.2% on last year.

Premier CFO Mark Moran said the company delivered on its strategic priorities to "stabilise the business, re-focus the portfolio and invest in its future growth" in 2012.

He added: "While markets are expected to remain challenging in 2013, the company believes the right strategies and plans are in place, including the delivery of further cost savings, to make progress in 2013."