Unlike many other food companies, who have been feeling the pinch of a constricted market place and escalating costs, Premier Foods has said that it is confident of its ability to weather the storm. In a buoyant trading statement released today (6 July) Premier said that like-for-like sales growth should meet targets thanks to strong performances from its Quorn, Branston, Loyd Grossman and Ambrosia brands.

Delivering the groups update for the six-months to 1 July, Premier CEO Robert Schofield said: "The first half of 2006 has reflected the continued success of our strategy of growing our branded sales with Quorn, Branston, Loyd Grossman and Ambrosia all continuing to grow strongly. Cost pressures remain an issue but we are confident the resilience of our business will continue to enable us to offset these pressures. Our expectations for the rest of the year remain unchanged."

The acquisition of Quorn and Cauldron are expected to put sales of convenience foods, pickles, sauces and meat-free products well ahead of last year's levels, the company said. "We are delighted at the progress of Quorn which has seen double digit sales growth in the first half, driven by increased advertising and the launch of new products," Schofield commented.

However, declining sales of smaller brands and private label convenience foods, the company reported, offset increased sales of Branston and Loyd Grossman brands.

Thanks to strong the strong growth of Ambrosia, driven by new product releases and snacking formats, Premier anticipates sales of desserts, beverages and spreads to be significantly up from the GBP132m reported in the first half of last year. The company also said that own label contracts in this sector had increased in the half.

Premier's interim results for the six months ended 1 July 2006 will be announced on 5 September.