Bisto owner Premier sees sales turn negative

Premier Foods, owner of Bisto, Mr Kipling and Oxo, today said sales of its key brands are expected to fall during the second quarter of its financial year.

The firm, which also counts Ambrosia, Batchelors, Loyd Grossman and Sharwoods among its “power brands”, said sales have turned negative “due to subdued grocery markets”.

As a result, Premier said it no longer expects sales of the key brands to grow by 2 to 3 per cent for the full year, although it insisted its profit forecasts were unchanged, “reflecting the company’s ongoing focus on managing its costs”.

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Premier, which also announced the creation of a powdered drinks and desserts joint venture today, is due to release its first-half results on 22 July.