Premier Foods has cancelled its dividend payments to shareholders indefinitely and delayed the covenant tests on its £1.8bn debt by three months.

Chief executive Robert Schofield told analysts he remained confident Premier would have met the test - a check of the company's debt levels against agreed banking limits - had it been held in December, but to avoid "distraction" had agreed to delay it by 3 months, consequently incurring a £4.9m fee.

The company is currently undergoing a review of its debt levels, due to be completed by the first quarter of 2009.

Schofield refused to discuss what options Premier was considering to reduce its debt, but did reveal he had received "14 or 15 offers" for different brands. None were priced at an acceptable level, he said.