Angel Delight whips up strong sales for Mr Kipling and Oxo maker

Sales in the group's portfolio of brands have all grown

Sales in the group's portfolio of brands have all grown

"Overall, we continue to expect the business to make progress in the second half of the year and our expectations for the full year remain unchanged".

The firm, which is makes Mr Kipling cakes, served up a half-year pre-tax loss of £1.2m for the six months ending in September, a significant drop from the £8.7 million loss recorded for the same period a year ago.

Revenue grew 1.5 per cent to £353m in the first half, with the strongest growth in the second quarter, when revenue jumped 6.2 per cent.

Oxo and Bisto owner Premier Foods returned to growth in the 26 weeks to 30 September, driven by fast growth in convenience foods such as Batchelor's noodles and pasta.

Darby also said Premier Foods' partnerships with Nissin and Mondelez International are "working very well".

Like all food producers operating out of the UK, Premier has experienced a rise in input costs over the past year.

Operating profit rose 2.3% in the period to GBP22.5 million from GBP22.0 million previous year, whilst adjusted pretax profit rose to GBP26.4 million from GBP26.3 million. In the first half of the year, revenue grew by 23% on a constant currency basis and rose 30% in the second quarter.

Gavin Darby, chief executive of Premier Foods, said: "We are pleased to report a return to revenue growth of 1.5 per cent in the first half of the year".

Net debt at the firm was £535.3 million, a £20.7 million improvement on the previous year, the company said.

During the year the company performed a cost efficiency programme, which they said was on track to deliver the "expected benefits".

Shares in Premier Foods were up 4.8% at 38.25 pence on Wednesday.

"We completed the issue of a new £210m high yield bond in June and our Net debt was £21m lower than the same point past year; a little ahead of our plans".