StockMarketWire.com - Premier Foods swung to a full-year loss after a modest rise in revenue was more than offset by pension charges, restructuring costs and a writedown in the value of its Sharwoods and Saxa brands.

Pre-tax losses for the year through March amounted to £42.7m, compared to a profit of £20.9m on-year.

Revenue rose 0.6% to £824.3m after improving by 3.1% in the fourth quarter.

Adjusted pre-tax profit rose 12% to £88.0m.

The adjusted figure excluded a £30.6m impairment charge related to Sharwood's and Saxa brand intangible assets, 'to ensure the carrying value of the brand on the balance sheet reflects the group's latest view on brand valuation'.

Premier Foods said its strategic review remained ongoing, with an update to follow 'in due course'.

The company is considering asset sales to cut its debt pile, which at 31 March was £469.9m, having fallen £26.5m on the prior year.

'This year we plan to increase investment in both capital projects and consumer marketing, with up to five of our biggest brands expected to benefit from TV advertising,' acting chief executive Alastair Murray said.

'We have plans to launch an exciting new brand, 'Plantastic', using plant- based ingredients, in response to current consumer trends and we expect our international business to return to double digit growth in the coming year.'

'While the first half of FY19/20 is expected to be slower than last year, reflecting the timing of marketing investment, we expect to make further progress over the next twelve months thanks to our continuing pipeline of new product innovation and strong customer relationships.'

'We remain focused on reducing our levels of Net debt and expect to deliver a similar level of debt paydown in the coming year.'



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