Pioneer Foods said on Friday its turnover increased by 7.8% in the four months to 31 January, primarily driven by price inflation in bread, wheat flour, rice, export fruit and a sound volume growth in these products and breakfast cereals in the UK.
The owner of brand names such as Weet-Bix, Liqui-Fruit, Ceres, Sasko, Safari, Spekko and White Star said the overall like-for-like volume growth was two percent, excluding the contribution of the acquired businesses Wellington and Lizi, implying basket inflation of 5.8%.
Pioneer Foods said the positive contribution from turnover growth was, however, negated by major cost inflation in key raw material pricing and other operational input costs.
In a trading statement, the food group said consumer demand remained under pressure, with spending muted and not expected to improve in the near future.
As a result, pressure on gross and operating margins would continue, to the extent that price recovery lagged.