Premier Foods has reported a 123.2% increase in half-year pre-tax profit to 1 July of £27.9m, on sales up 18.4% at £430.5m.

The food manufacturer added that like-for-like grocery sales for the period increased 3.1%, with its principal brands Quorn, Branston, Loyd Grossman and Ambrosia all performing well.

It also added that branded sales now represent 61% of its grocery product sales, up from 54% in the first half of 2005.

Premier Foods last month acquired the UK and Ireland businesses of Campbell Soup Company and the group said that it was “very excited by the proposed acquisition”.

Robert Schofield, chief executive of Premier Foods, said: “We have some exciting ideas and plans for these brands and look forward to beginning their implementation over the second half of the year.”

He added: “The outlook for the remainder of the year remains in line with our expectations, with our branded sales performance helping to offset the utility and energy-related cost pressures we are seeing in the supply chain.

We expect the environment in which we operate will continue to remain tough as a result of ongoing cost pressures, particularly in utility and energy related areas, and the abnormally hot weather we experienced in July.”