May 16, 2017 / 8:10 AM / 3 months ago

Premier Foods CEO sees profit, sales up this year

LONDON (Reuters) - Premier Foods (PFD.L) expects sales and profits to rebound this year, as the British company works to offset challenges in the market and preserve cash, its chief executive told Reuters on Tuesday.

Sales and profits both fell in the financial year that ended in April, but CEO Gavin Darby told Reuters he was confident the company's performance would improve.

Sales will get a boost from the new distribution of Nissin (9066.T) products and expanded license from Mondelez International (MDLZ.O) to sell Cadbury cakes, while job cuts and restructuring should help profit.

"There are a lot of reasons I feel confident we will be in growth," Darby said. He declined to give a specific forecast.

Darby said if currency exchange rates held steady, the worst would be over in terms of price increases Premier would need to implement. He said the company had already pushed through increases in a low- to mid-single digit range, on average, to offset rising commodity costs and a weaker sterling.

Darby also said he was not looking at mergers or acquisitions, focusing instead on paying down debt.

Reporting by Martinne Geller; Editing by Mark Potter

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