Shares in Premier Foods surged as a turnround took hold with sales in brands such as its sweet treat maker Mr Kipling gaining momentum, revenue in noodles more than doubling and its international business returning to growth (The Financial Times £). Exceedingly good cakes, as the advertising slogan goes, have lifted sales at Premier Foods as a relaunch of its Mr Kipling brand ushered the business back into the black (The Times £). The owner of Mr Kipling Cakes is seeking to profit from the craze for veganism by ramping up a range of snacks made from plants (The Telegraph). Britain’s sweet tooth set Mr Kipling-maker Premier Foods on the road to recovery in the first half, with cake sales rising 8% (The Daily Mail).
Nervous investors are dumping shares in online grocer Ocado amid fears that its online rivals are catching up (The Telegraph). A fall in Ocado’s stock has wiped more than £79m off co-founder Tim Steiner’s share-holding (The Daily Mail)
Loss-making German business has taken a heavy toll on B&M European Value Retail, forcing the discount retailer into a heavy writedown of the division (The Times £). Value retailer B&M is reviewing its Jawoll operations in Germany after a persistent weak performance resulted in an impairment charge of £59.5m and half-year results that fell short of expectations (The Financial Times £). Discount retailer B&M continues to see rising sales in the UK, but profits have tumbled 70 per cent as things at its German business are not going well, with the division now under strategic review (The Daily Mail).
Having written down most of the goodwill in Jawoll, B&M could sell the business and cut its losses relatively quickly. However, with B&M committed to expanding across Europe, the setback in Germany has raised questions over its ability to do so. (Sky News)
B&M has vowed to maintain its assault on the retail market despite profits at the discounter chain tumbling by 70%, its boss said (The Telegraph)
The share price reaction looks overdone, even if Jawoll, the German chain bought in 2014, looks a mess, writes The FT. Operating costs soared, and sales were dragged down by the late arrival of seasonal products. B&M will now conduct a strategic review (The Financial Times £)
The ‘big four’ supermarkets are facing a tough Christmas after their sales fell again over the autumn – while Co-op and the German discounters soared (The Daily Mail). Britain’s four biggest supermarkets suffered a slide in sales last month as discounters lured their shoppers (The Times £). The ‘big four’ supermarkets have seen a relatively slow start to the crucial festive period despite shoppers already spending £17million on mince pies and £3m on Christmas puddings, figures show (The Daily Mail).
A Los Angeles hedge fund has wrestled control of Domino’s Pizza’s boardroom overhaul as the takeaway firms fights to end a long-running row with its franchisees. (The Telegraph)
The biggest milk processor in the US, Dean Foods, filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday, succumbing to nearly $1bn in debt, changing consumer tastes and tough competition in the latest sign of pressure in the agricultural economy. (The Financial Times £)
Mars is to launch a vegan version of its best-selling Galaxy bar in the UK, the first move by a large mainstream confectionery brand to offer consumers a plant-based alternative to milk chocolate. (The Guardian)
Britain has failed to deliver any improvement in productivity for five successive quarters after the latest official figures revealed that the country remains stuck in a rut (The Times £).
Landsec, which owns shopping centres including Trinity Leeds, Westgate Oxford and Bluewater in Kent, has slumped to a first-half loss after being hit by store closures as retailers battle weak consumer spending and a shift to online shopping (The Guardian). Land Securities posted a £147m first-half loss as the crisis on the High Street battered the value of its properties (The Daily Mail)