Mr Kipling cakes firm Premier Foods raises prices as costs soar

Mr Kipling cakes firm Premier Foods has said it is hiking prices in the face of soaring costs in the latest sign of mounting pressure on household food bills.

Knighton Foods' subsidiary at Adbaston, near Stafford
Knighton Foods' subsidiary at Adbaston, near Stafford

The firm, which has its Knighton Foods subsidiary at Adbaston, near Stafford, said the Ukraine war was pushing up prices of many of its ingredients, including wheat and dairy, while fuel and energy costs are also rocketing.

The warning comes as official figures on Wednesday showed inflation hit a 40-year high of nine per cent in April – and it is expected to soar past 10 per cent later in the year.

Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey sparked further fears earlier this week, issuing an "apocalyptic" warning about rising food prices.

Premier Foods boss Alex Whitehouse said the group raised prices by "high single digits" in its year to April, but is expecting to ramp them up further with a "low double-digit rise" in the year ahead.

He said the rises would be spread across its brands, though it is also launching cost efficiency programmes to try to tackle surging inflation.

Mr Whitehouse said: "Food inflation is pretty significant and for some families that's going to be really tough."

He pledged the group would "work really hard to offset as much of the inflation pressures as we can and help people as best we can by trying to keep prices down".

Details of the price hike plans follow results showing the group's pre-tax profits jumped 16.4 per cent to a higher than expected £102.6 million in the year to April 2.

Premier Foods, which also owns brands such as Oxo cubes, Sharwoods and Ambrosia, said its Mr Kipling cake brand enjoyed its best year ever in 2021, helping the overall sweet treats category enjoy a seven per cent rise in revenues.

The firm announced a 20 per cent rise in its shareholder dividend payout on the back of the bumper results, helping shares rise six per cent in morning trading on Wednesday.

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