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Premier Foods profit gains on Mr Kipling cakes, Nissin noodles boost

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By Reuters

(Reuters) – Britain’s Premier Foods Plc <PFD.L> reported higher first-half adjusted pretax profit on Tuesday, benefiting from the relaunch of Mr Kipling cakes last year and strong sales of Nissin noodles.

The Bisto gravy and Oxo cube maker, which shuffled its top management earlier this year, said adjusted pretax profit rose 5% to 31.7 million pounds ($40.56 million) for the six months ended Sept. 28.

“Following this encouraging start to the year, with its marketing investment and exciting innovation programmes, the Group has increased confidence of building on this momentum to deliver progress in the full year and beyond,” the company said.

The company, which is targeting additional, largely operational cost savings over the next two years, said it sees options regarding its future cash deployment.

Premier Foods said Nissin Soba Noodles & Cup Noodles, which it sells in a partnership with Nissin Foods Holdings <2897.T>, enjoyed an exceptionally strong growth trajectory with its sales growing 111%.

The company appointed UK business chief Alex Whitehouse as the company’s new chief executive officer in August, after Gavin Darby left in January because of shareholder pressure following a drop in the share price after a takeover attempt by U.S. food maker McCormick & Co Inc <MKC.N> fell through three years ago.

The company also appointed Colin Day from Reckitt Benckiser <RB.L>, where he was the chief financial officer, to be its new chairman, and appointed Duncan Leggett as its finance chief, filling a leadership void at the group.

Premier Foods on Tuesday announced more executive changes, with a new chief customer officer, chief marketing officer and operations director to deliver sharper focus in those areas. It removed the UK and international managing director roles.

(Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)