London / UK. (pf) Premier Foods PLC reported that it was selling off its frozen foods business as it revealed that comparative sales during the first six months of the year are expected to dip, hit by competition for bread and rising wheat prices. The company is understood to already in talks with parties about buying its frozen foods group, acquired with the 1,2 billion GBP purchase of RHM PLC in December 2006 («Hovis», «Mr. Kipling», «Bisto» …), which generates annual sales of 50 million GBP.
Harare / ZW. (wib) Police arrested 16 more business leaders in a crackdown on those suspected of violating the government´s order to slash prices by 50 percent, the official media reported this days. The mandated price cuts are a desperate attempt to confront inflation that has spun out of control during Zimbabwe´s economic crisis.
London / UK. (wib) Sandwich chain Pret a Manger Limited plans to appoint bankers this autumn for a 500 to 700 million GBP initial public offering (IPO), The British Sunday Express reports citing an unnamed source. The paper added that Pret advisor NM Rothschild has told private equity firms that the chain could also be sold.
St. Louis / MO. (wib) Panera Bread Company reports that revenue jumped 28 percent in the second quarter as its systemwide same-store sales climbed 2,3 percent for the four weeks ended June 26. In that period, company-owned bakery-cafe sales rose 2,1 percent and sales in franchise-operated units were up 2,4 percent.
Southport / AU. (wib) Australian Retail Food Group Limited (RFG) manages under licence the Donut King and bb´s cafe brands throughout Australia and New Zealand. With headquarter in Queensland RFG now announces that the group´s interest in Brumby´s Bakeries Holdings Limited surpasses 90 percent.
Nashville / TN. (nbj) Tennessee Bun Co. and Nashville Bun Co. recently expanded its contract with its largest customer McDonald´s to supply buns and rolls to locations in Puerto Rico. McDonald´s footprint there encompasses 112 restaurants.
Shanghai / CN. (wib) The price of mooncakes will rise by more than ten percent ahead of the Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on September 25 this year, according to the Shanghai Food Association Bakery Commission.
Presov / SK. (wib) Sarisske Pekarne a Cukrarne A.S. reports total sales of 294 million SKK in 2006 – plus 5,1 percent in relation to 2005. Production costs grew by 8,6 percent to 221,8 million SKK. The industrial bakery company generated added value of 125,6 million SKK.
Bucharest / RO. (mf) Romanian news services spread the message, that the Romanian mill and bakery companies groan under a very high wheat price this year, while the available wheat quantities are five times lower than 2006.
Tel Aviv / IL. (wib) Flour prices are rising in Israel by 35 to 40 percent. Flour mills warned the bakeries about the hike during the last two weeks. The sudden jerk in prices results from spiking flour prices in world markets, by 30 percent in the last month.