Premier Foods shares soar as sales grow

Premier Foods (LON:PFD) shares soared on Monday as the company saw sales rise in March amid the outbreak of COVID-19.

Shares in the owner of the Mr Kipling brand were up by more than 20% during trading on Monday.

The company said that UK sales are expected to have grown by roughly 7.3% in the fourth quarter and 15.1% in March.

“The trading performance in the fourth quarter continued the positive momentum seen in previous quarters and volumes in March rose sharply to fulfil increased consumer demand during the outbreak of COVID-19,” Premier Foods said in a statement.

As the outbreak of the illness continues to spread, many consumers have stockpiled products to ensure that they have what they need.

Premier Foods said that it has seen “a dramatic short-term peak in volumes across many of its categories during March”.

The company added that volumes have begun to reduce from the “exceptional levels” experienced last month, though they are still expected to be higher than usual.

“This reflects more meals being eaten at home than usual due to recent measures set out by HM Government and hence increased demand for the group’s product ranges,” the company continued.

Indeed, the government introduced stricter social distancing measures last month, encouraging people to stay indoors unless absolutely necessary.

“The group also takes its responsibility as a major UK food manufacturer very seriously and is working closely with its customers to ensure maximum availability of its product ranges for consumers,” Premier Foods continued.

During this challenging time, the company’s manufacturing and distribution operations are working at maximum capacity and coping well with this recent elevated level of demand, and customer service levels continue to be high.”

Shares in Premier Foods plc (LON:PFD) were up on Monday, trading at +22.32% as of 14:25 BST.

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