27 April 2011

IMS for the three months ended 31 March 2011


Interim Management Statement for the three months ended 31 March 2011

• Group sales down 3.1%, volumes down 3.8%.
• Further gains in branded volume market share.
• Q1 market value down 2.8%1, market volumes down 7.1%1.
• Q1 market performance reflects impact of strong consumer purchases in December followed by a weak January and February.  In March, the market volume decline slowed to 1.6%, nearer to the 2010 average levels.
• Raw material inflation year on year is running at a percentage rate in the low teens.  We have achieved all the re-pricing required to cover the inflation we have seen up to the end of Q1; further price rises are being negotiated to cover further inflation which we can foresee.
• Although cautious about the consumer environment, guidance to make progress in 2011 and to generate £80m of recurring cashflow is reiterated.

Robert Schofield, Chief Executive, said:

“During a difficult Q1 trading period, we have continued to execute our strategy.  With improved efficiency, we are in a good position to compete in an increasingly competitive marketplace.  We have also continued to take volume market share during the quarter albeit value share has lagged.  

“We have also made good progress on pricing.  Our priority has been to obtain price rises to recover raw material inflation.  I am pleased to report that we have achieved the price rises we sought with all customers and these cover most of the raw materials inflation.  However, inflation remains an issue and we will continue to seek price rises to cover this.”

The full IMS can be viewed below:

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