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Mr Kipling cakes firm Premier Foods raises prices as costs soar

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Mr Kipling cakes firm Premier Foods has said it is hiking prices in the face of soaring costs in the latest sign of mounting pressure on household food bills.

The group – which also owns brands such as Oxo cubes, Sharwoods and Ambrosia – said the Ukraine war was pushing up prices of many of its ingredients, including wheat and dairy, while fuel and energy costs are also rocketing.

The warning comes as official figures on Wednesday showed inflation hit a 40-year high of 9% in April – and it is expected to soar past 10% later in the year.

Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey sparked further fears earlier this week, issuing an “apocalyptic” warning about rising food prices.

Premier Foods boss Alex Whitehouse said the group raised prices after seeing a “high single digits” increase in costs in its year to April and is expecting to ramp them up again as it braces for a further “low double-digit” rise in costs over the year ahead.

He said the rises would be spread across its brands, though it is also launching cost efficiency programmes to try and tackle surging inflation.

Mr Whitehouse said: “Food inflation is pretty significant and for some families that’s going to be really tough.”

He pledged the group would “work really hard to offset as much of the inflation pressures as we can and help people as best we can by trying to keep prices down”.

Details of the price hike plans follow results showing the group’s pre-tax profits jumped 16.4% to a higher than expected £102.6 million in the year to April 2.

Premier Foods said its Mr Kipling cake brand enjoyed its best year ever in 2021, helping the overall sweet treats category enjoy a 7% rise in revenues.

The firm announced a 20% rise in its shareholder dividend payout on the back of the bumper results, helping shares rise 6% in morning trading on Wednesday.

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