Premier Foods annual results were in the spotlight yesterday as Gavin Darby faced the media for the first time since US suitor walked away from takeover talks as the Mr Kipling boss turned down three offers. The Financial Times writes that Premier served up a sales and profits rise in the year. The business said it had “a strong future” as an independent company, albeit through a deepening relationship with Japan’s Nissin Foods. Gavin Darby hailed the first growth in annual revenues since 2012 as “the beginning of a great growth story”. The Times headline runs “Premier serves up sales rise as it shrugs off takeover.” Darby used the strong results to defend his decision to rebuff a “theoretical” £1.5bn takeover approach from McCormick. He claimed that most shareholders “recognise the difference between an indicative offer and a real offer”. The Mail leads with a strong defence from Darby, with the CEO saying “The majority of shareholders recognise that there was never a bid from McCormick, it was a phantom bid.” The Telegraph’s Questor share tip column has Premier as a ‘sell’ stock and says the maker of Mr Kipling cakes and Ambrosia custard is struggling to justify to shareholders why it turned down a 65p per share takeover offer from McCormick after annual results show “another year of lacklustre sales and losses”.

Sandwich maker Greencore posted a strong performance in its half-year report but warned of continuing uncertainty in the grocery industry amid the raging supermarket price war, The Telegraph writes. The FT writes that the Ireland-based group, which supplies half of all the sandwiches sold on British high streets, played down the implications of a possible Brexit but warned of difficulties triggered by the supermarket price war. CEO Patrick Coveney told the paper that the group’s production costs would almost certainly rise if the UK left the EU — but expected companies would have time to adjust.

News of potential buyers of BHS also received widespread coverage. The Guardian reports that administrators are hoping to finalise a rescue deal by the end of this week after securing four offers from Edinburgh Woollen Mill owner Philip Day and Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct, as well as a “European retail group” and a consortium made up of Matalan founder John Hargreaves and Turkish entrepreneur Cafer Mahiroglu. The Times writes: “Talks over the future of BHS were extended beyond last night’s deadline after a frenzied day of negotiations ended with a last-minute bid by the owner of Matalan.” And The Mail has the colourful headline that Mike Ashley is set to turn BHS into a new Woolies as the Sports Direct tycoon fights it out with rival to snap up the failed department store.

Finally, Carlsberg chairman Flemming Besenbacher has launched a passionate defence of the company’s independence in The FT, even as a mega-merger of its two largest rivals pushes the market share of the Danish brewer further back into third place. He told the paper that he is not concerned about the competition — and will even consider shrinking the business if it helps to restore its fortunes.