Premier Foods will launch a new range of mince pies, cherry bakewells and fruit pies packaged as Mr. Kipling mini cakes ahead of Christmas, after a relaunch of the popular sweet treats brand helped it bounce back to profit.
Shares in the Bisto gravy and OXO cube maker surged as much as 10% after the group reported a first-half pretax profit of GBP15m (USD19.19m), compared to a loss of GBP2.2m last year, Reuters reports.
They are the first set of results under Chief Executive Alex Whitehouse, who is trying to turn around the company after its share price tanked following a failed takeover attempt by U.S. food maker McCormick & Co Inc three years ago.
Whitehouse has been credited with turning around Premier Food’s UK business, including a relaunch of the Mr. Kipling cake brand, which has outperformed the rest of the group.
Premier Foods sales have been boosted by a TV advertising push.
The company also said sales of Nissin Soba Noodles & Cup Noodles, which it sells in a partnership with its biggest shareholder Nissin Foods Holdings, more than doubled.
The group, which also reported lower debt, now plans to capitalize on Mr. Kipling’s successful reboot with mini versions of its sweet treats.
“The introduction of these new mini versions of some of Mr. Kipling’s most popular products follows the significant reconfiguration of an existing manufacturing line at its Stoke bakery. This has vastly improved the flexibility of different cake sizes and types and facilitates the development of more new products that closely match consumer trends,” the company said.