Our 2019/20 Q3 Trading Statement for 13 weeks ended 28 December 2019

Strong Q3 performance, profit expectations unchanged & full year Net debt/EBITDA target of 3.0x on track
January 17, 2020

The Headlines:

  • Q3 Group sales up +2.6% and up +2.5% Q3 year to date
  • Q3 UK sales up +3.6% and +3.3% Q3 year to date; 10th consecutive quarter of growth
  • Outperforming the market, with share gains in 7 out of 8 major brands
  • Mr. Kipling sales up +10% in Q3
  • Non-branded sales returned to growth in Q3
  • Profit expectations for the full year remain unchanged
  • On track to meet target of 3.0x Net debt/EBITDA by March 2020

Alex Whitehouse, Chief Executive Officer:

“Today we’re reporting another strong quarter with Group sales up +2.6% and UK sales up +3.6%. Our UK business has now delivered 10 consecutive quarters of revenue growth and has consistently outperformed the market. Our biggest brand, Mr. Kipling, has again been instrumental to this continuing momentum, with increased sales of 10% supported by TV advertising and new product ranges. Our more seasonally focused brands grew by over 5% in the quarter and in 2019 we sold over 200 million mince pies, 7% more than 2018.”

“Our proven branded growth model of delivering new product innovation based on consumer trends together with high quality advertising behind our major brands continues to work very well. In Q3 we doubled our UK marketing investment with more to come in Q4, along with a number of new product launches including Cadbury Crème Egg choc cakes and Mr. Kipling mini pies and tarts. We are making good progress towards our cost savings goals and are on track to deliver £5m savings over the next 2 years to further increase investment into the branded growth model. This performance, in our key trading period, reconfirms our unchanged profit expectations for the full year and we remain on track to meet our Net debt/EBITDA leverage target of 3.0×5 by March 2020.”

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