You're not buying enough Hovis, Bisto and Mr Kipling cakes say Premier Foods

Mr Kipling

You pricks look like the kind of people who gorge on brown bread, gravy and cake. Then why, ask Premier Foods, the people who own Hovis, Bisto and Mr Kipling, aren't they making enough money?

Surely you've not started actually trying to make things from scratch like the television shows suggested are you? What's the matter with you? Are you that bored/twee?

Anyway, Premier Foods are now warning us that their full-year trading profit will fall below expectations. That's terrible news isn't it? Well it would be if you stopped stirring that bloody pot of beef stock with an oxtail for one second.

This is serious business.

They've been looking for a profit of between £214m and £232m but current trading was "disappointing" and "significantly behind our expectations".

And now, alarmingly, the group said it was in "constructive dialogue" with banks on refinancing as shares fell 4 pence, or 40%, to 6p in morning trading.

New chief executive Michael Clarke has outlined five key priorities for the business in the short term, but they're so boring that you'd have to be completely insane to have any sort of interest in what they are. You do? Oh well. They want to agreeing a refinancing plan, improve sales and marketing, reducing the size of their portfolio, reduce costs and invest in eight "power brands" that they feel have the best growth prospects.

Those eight brands are Ambrosia, Batchelor's, Bisto, Hovis, Lloyd Grossman, Mr Kipling, Oxo and Sharwood's.

Martin Deboo, making his first appearance on these pages, who is an analyst at brokers Investec Securities, said the company now faced a question of survival.

"To say that all this adds up to a baptism of fire for new chief executive Mike Clarke feels like the understatement of the year. His mettle is going to be strongly tested in the run-up to Christmas," he said.

They better not go out of business. The little Hovis biscuits are the only ones we really like in the cracker boxes you get at Christmas.


  • Marky M.
    Oh, so it's not like they're making a loss. They're simply not making as many squillions as they'd LIKE to. Boo hoo. Next story please.
  • onions
    They have net debt approaching £850m, their banking covenants stipulate that EBITDA must be 2.75 times interest payments of approximately £70m per year (one other covenant states it should be 3.9 times) That's why they are shitting themselves.
  • Alexisale
    I don't buy Hovos after those dead mice started appearing in their loaves.
  • zeddy
    "The little Hovis biscuits are the only ones we really like in the cracker boxes you get at Christmas."
  • zeddy
    Ahem, I'm more of a Carr's Water Biscuit man, myself.
  • Billy
    Fuck me, it will be like a little part of me has died should one of the UK's finest and traditional brands disappear. Can't imagine a curry without Sharwood’s Fuck it, I'm gonna clear the shelves tonight, just hope there's no other shoppers out panic buying.
  • Owch
    Premier Foods don't make Hovis biscuits, they make Hovis bread. This company makes (relatively) little money and owes a billion pounds. Scary!
  • captain c.
    I stopped buying Hovis after it trebled in price (over 18months it went from 50p to £1.50) and quartered in quality; it now tastes like it is made from shredded cardboard. As for the others, how have they managed to eff up with so many well established and loved brands is beyond me. Or is it?? As mentioned above, too much profiteering?? The cause of most of our manufacturing woes over the last 100 years???
  • PMC
    captain cretin I agree totally, I was going to say just the same. We've always got the hovis multiseed bread, but at £1.50+ now its just too much. We're not counting pennies in the slightest, I just hate paying more than a reasonable price for anything. Supermarket own brands of various things made by those on that list have improved in quality too over the last few years and for that extra 10% quality that the brand name gives you, I'd rather save the 50% in cost that an own brand gives you. The brands aren't giving people enough reason to spend the extra. They're all too busy trying to get fans on facebook and the like, rather than just sticking to making food.
  • fools
    If you actually had been inside an industrial bakery you would stick to warburtons. They are the cleanest and highest quality. They only make bread branded warburtons. All supermaket own brand is made by hovis/others and it just uses cheaper ingredients like low grade flour etc Stick to warburtons if i were you
  • Mr K.
    Don't buy Warburtons! They put sand and dead mice bits in their bread to bulk it out. Hovis is exceedingly good. Anybody fancy my fondants?

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