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Last Updated: Monday, 9 January 2006, 10:07 GMT
Premier Foods digests sales rise
Branston pickle
Premier overcame a fire at its main Suffolk factory
Premier Foods, owner of Branston's pickle and other brands, has reported healthy Christmas sales and said it is coping well with rising energy costs.

The firm is expecting to report 1% growth in like-for-like grocery sales in 2005 and total sales growth of 15%.

Premier, which floated in 2004, said it had succeeded in raising prices to offset what it described as the "exceptional" increase in energy costs.

In a trading statement, it said it was well-positioned for future growth.

Premier suffered a scare in October 2004, when its factory in Suffolk was gutted by fire, temporarily halting production of pickles and other items.

Stronger portfolio

Premier is targeting higher growth areas such as sauces, ready meals, "dessert snacks" and meat-free hamburgers.

We are well placed to take advantage of the increasing trend for 'healthy eating'
Robert Schofield, chief executive

"The acquisitions and disposals we have made during the year have strengthened our portfolio," said chief executive Robert Schofield.

"We are well placed to take advantage of the increasing trend for 'healthy eating'."

Premier said its launch of Branston baked beans at the end of last year had been well received.

However, it warned that sales of potatoes would be significantly lower than in 2004 because of falling volumes.

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13 Oct 05 |  Business
Pickle firm plays down shortages
25 Nov 04 |  Suffolk

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