Premier Foods, maker of Ambrosia custard and Quorn, has reported a 12.2% rise in pre-tax profit for fiscal 2006, which rose to GBP58m (US$111.94m) on the back of a strong performance from the company's leading brands.

At the end of last year, the food manufacturer had predicted profits would come in at the lower end of its guidance due to rising costs and warm weather. Nonetheless, the company's branded businesses performed well, with Loyd Grossman sauces sales rising 25%, Branston sales up 16% and Quorn up 13% on a like-for-like basis.

During the year, the group acquired the UK and Irish businesses of Campbell Soup, which brought the Homepride, Oxo and Batchelors brands under the Premier umbrella. Premier said that it was "pleased" with Campbell's performance, which has generated profits of GBP17m since its acquisition last December.

Premier also recently acquired RHM, including the Mr Kipling, Hovis and Bisto brands, in a GBP1.2bn deal which is expected to be completed in the coming weeks.

Robert Schofield, Premier chief executive, said: "2006 has been a year of transformation for Premier.  The Campbell's business acquired in August fits Premier like a glove. It has significantly enhanced our brand portfolio, adding the iconic British brands of Oxo, Batchelors and Homepride whilst offering us substantial operational synergies. The integration has been proceeding at pace and to plan.

"In December, we announced our agreed offer for RHM, the acquisition meets all our acquisition criteria and again brings a fantastic stable of brands into the portfolio including among others Hovis, Mr Kipling, Bisto and Sharwoods, along with very substantial synergies. Above all, these acquisitions have been achieved whilst we have continued to grow our existing business, which has more than compensated for the impact of the end of the Cadbury chocolate beverages licence, significant raw material and energy price inflation and the extended warm weather through the summer and autumn."