Quarter 3 Trading Statement for 13 weeks ended 26 December 2020

Continuing to outperform the market, gaining volume and value share
January 19, 2021


  • Q3 Group sales up +9.0% and up +12.5% year to date
  • Q3 Branded sales up +12.1% and +16.0% year to date
  • Continuing to outperform the market, gaining volume and value share
  • Online continues to grow strongly, up +90% in Q3
  • Five major brands received advertising investment over Christmas period; more to come in Q4
  • International sales grew +43%; continuing strong trajectory so far this year
  • Further £40m part redemption of Floating Rate Notes due July 2022, saving further £2m p.a. interest costs
  • Net debt/EBITDA now expected to be below 2.0x by year end

Alex Whitehouse, Chief Executive Officer

“Quarter 3 proved to be another period of exceptional growth, with Group sales up 9.0% and branded sales up 12.1%, as people turned to our product ranges in the face of heightened restrictions on out of home eating. Our colleagues have carried out a magnificent job supplying this elevated level of demand, keeping the business fully operational while at the same time retaining strict measures to keep each other safe. We continue to deploy our branded growth model strategy, launching a series of new products in the quarter such as Sharwood’s low sugar stir fry sauces and supporting five of our major brands with TV advertising. Together with excellent execution both instore and online, we continue to take market share in volume and value terms. Online sales were up 90% in the quarter, ahead of the broader channel and we saw higher household penetration for brands such as Bisto, Oxo and Paxo, as more meals were eaten at home this Christmas.”

“Looking to the remainder of the year, out of home eating is likely to remain heavily restricted and we therefore expect to see continued high levels of consumer demand for our products. With more brand investment to come, we now expect Trading profit to be in the range of £145-£150m this year and Net debt/EBITDA5 to fall below 2.0x by the year end.”

Read and download the full RNS of our Quarter 3 results