- Mr Kipling cakes and Bisto gravy maker Premier Foods reported a 23% leap in first-quarter sales as more people ate at home during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Grocery sales in the 13 weeks to 27 June rose 32%, tempered by more modest growth of 0.7% in sweet treat sales.

Premier Foods said its recently upgraded expectations for the full year were unchanged, with initial volumes in the second quarter remaining elevated.

The pandemic is helping the company eat into a large debt pile that had been hobbling its prospects for years.

'As expected, we continued to see strong demand for our grocery brands in the first quarter, with consumers eating the vast majority of their meals at home, chief executive Alex Whitehouse said.

'We have grown faster than our categories during this period, both in standard retail and online channels.' Whitehouse said the company had repaid £80m of its floating rate bonds in the quarter, reducing its annual interest bill by at least £4m.

He added that it was exploring further opportunities to reduce its financing costs as it continued to reduce debt. At 9:13am: [LON:PMO] Premier Oil PLC share price was -1.24p at 34.76p

Story provided by