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Premier Foods has announced a surge in sales for the last six months, with the UK?s largest food producer reaping the benefits from a run of major acquisitions.

Premier, the company behind brands including Mr Kipling and Batchelors, saw H1 sales climb by 43.5% to ?1.29bn, up from last year?s mark of ?899.1m.

Operating profits were up 10% from ?101.5m to ?121.5m.

Hovis was responsible for sales of ?462.7m ? almost double the ?235.5m the brand brought in over the equivalent period last year.

Premier chief executive Robert Schofield said the company?s ?vision remains on track? after achieved savings of ?26m over the period relating to its acquisitions of RHM and Campbell?s in 2006.

?The integration of RHM and Campbell's is now ahead of plan and we have closed six out of the nine factories scheduled for closure,? Schofield said. ?We have achieved the key price increases that were needed to recover input cost inflation seen to date and have continued to invest behind our unrivalled portfolio of brands and staple food products to ensure they prosper through the current difficult economic conditions.?

He added: ?'Now we have commenced the rejuvenation of Hovis, our largest brand, with significant quality improvements and an exciting marketing campaign that starts next month, which we believe will return it to growth.

?Our expectations for the year as a whole remain unchanged, with progress weighted towards the second half as the benefit of all these fundamental actions begin to flow through. The Group will reap the fuller rewards from this strong platform in 2009 and beyond as our focus shifts towards further brand building and innovation.?

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