A recovery in the second quarter at Premier Foods delighted the newspapers yesterday. A revamp of retro dessert Angel Delight, a new range of Super Noodle pots and a Cadbury cake push in Australia has steered Premier Foods to its best quarterly sales growth for over three years, The Telegraph says. The shares rose 6% in early London trading to 38p after the heavily indebted group reported an unexpectedly strong 6.2% increase in revenues in its second quarter, The Financial Times adds. The Guardian focuses on Angel Delight in its story. The paper writes the dessert brand is making a comeback half a century after it first hit the shelves. Sales of the brand jumped 30% over the six months to the end of September, according to Premier, as consumers were tempted back by a new ready-to-eat version of the retro milky dessert, first launched in 1967 by Birds. The Mail notes that Premier also revealed a narrower half-year pre-tax loss of £1.2m, down from the £8.7m loss suffered a year ago. A business editorial in The Telegraph says that: “Finally… there are signs of life returning to a forgotten giant of British food manufacturing.” It adds that but tackling one of corporate Britain’s toughest turnarounds has been “slow and painful”.
Tesco and Booker are still generating headlines. Nils Pratley in The Guardian asks if Tesco’s Dave Lewis can convince investors following approval from the CMA. “The CMA’s decision to clear the £3.7bn takeover is baffling, and seems unlikely to get the thumbs-up from all shareholders,” he writes.
A vote recount has seen activist investor Nelson Peltz win a seat on the Procter & Gamble board, The Times reports. The Financial Times says it is a dramatic twist in the expensive proxy battle as the activist investor disputes the original vote result. Lex in The Financial Times adds that the messy shareholder battle could facilitate changes to US corporate votes. “It is not just US presidential elections that are plagued by frightening flaws such as “hanging chads”; shareholder democracy is in peril too,” the opinion column says. “That is reinforced by the latest extraordinary twist in the battle between activist investor Nelson Peltz and consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble.”
Morrisons is to be the first to sell ‘wonky’ pomegranates to meet rising demand, The Guardian reports. Fruit will come in different sizes and have blemishes but will cost 30p, compared to average 74p in UK supermarkets.
McDonald’s flips fortunes with back to basics approach, The Big Read in The Financial Times says. “In a bloated sector, the fast-food chain has won back customers by refocusing on price and convenience,” the paper says.
Nestlé considers fate of past deals before striking again, The Financial Times says in a story following the break-up of the Swiss giant’s infant nutrition business into regional units.
The UK Supreme Court has cleared the way for Scotland to implement a minimum price for alcohol, in what will be seen as a major victory for the Scottish National party and health campaigners who say it will reduce problem drinking (The Financial Times).