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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 September 2007, 07:59 GMT 08:59 UK
Bread price warning from Premier
Hovis loaf
Premier has already increased bread prices this month
Premier Foods has warned that "unprecedented" wheat costs could force it to raise bread prices again.

Premier bought RHM for 1.2bn in March, a deal which brought it brands such as Hovis and Mothers Pride bread, McDougalls flour and Mr Kipling cakes.

Any price rises would come on top of the increases the firm implemented at the beginning of this month.

Premier's recent acquisitions were reflected in a 112% rise in six-month trading profits to 96.8m.

Profits before tax from continuing operations, which exclude the businesses it has bought, fell 49.6% to 13.9m.

As well as RHM, Premier bought the UK arm of Campbell's soups in August 2006.

The acquisition spree has led to a big rise in Premier Food's debts, which has weighed on its share price amid the current problems in the debt markets.

Premier is one of the few companies claiming to have benefited from the wet summer.

It says that since June, "cooler weather has helped to drive sales growth".


SEE ALSO
Premier Foods warns of sales slip
09 Jul 07 |  Business
Job cuts planned at Premier Foods
02 Jul 07 |  Business
In-store bread vs in-bag bread
16 Mar 07 |  Business
Two food factories set to close
19 Jan 07 |  England
Premier sales hit by mild weather
22 Dec 06 |  Business

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