Premier says goodbye to £75m bread contract

first_imgPremier Foods has revealed that it will not be renewing a £75m bread contract with a multiple retailer from mid-2013, as it looks to focus on more profitable operations.The firm, which published its interim management statement this morning (23 October) for the three months to 30 September 2012, said the contract, which accounts for approximately £75m in annual sales, has “very low margins”, was costly to service and would not affect its 2012 performance.A company spokesperson told British Baker that Premier Foods would not disclose details of the individual customer, however, analysts have hinted that the own-label contract is worth up to half of Premier Foods’ own-label bread business.Premier reported a rise in sales and market share for its Hovis bread brand during the last quarter, as underlying sales increased by 2% to £364.7m. Sales for its Power Brands, including Hovis and Mr Kipling, also increased by 2% to £206.1m.Damian McNeela, analyst of consumer staples at Panmure Gordon, said: “In bread, overall sales were flat, with Hovis delivering both sales growth and market share gains, although these were not material. “There is a degree of ebb and flow to the non-branded bread business and although the margins associated with the lost contract are low, it is a larger-than-average contract and hence the company have disclosed it.”Michael Clarke, chief executive, Premier Foods, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve grown sales of our Grocery Power Brands for a third successive quarter, despite the challenging consumer environment. Following recent divestitures we expect to deliver a further £20m of overhead cost reductions in 2013, over and above the £40m of savings we will deliver in 2012.“We are also continuing to work to unlock the value in our bread business, through taking the necessary decisions to improve sustainable profitability. We have a solid programme in place for the important Christmas training period and our full-year expectations are unchanged.”Non-brands sales also grew by 9.7% during the three-month period, which the company said reflected contract gains in its cake division and pricing benefits.Premier Foods’ Grocery Power Brands delivered year-on-year growth of 4.1% in the nine months to 30 September 2012.last_img read more

Read More →

Bob Cornett, Spirit Of The Suwannee Music Park Co-Founder, Passes Away

first_imgBob Cornett, co-founder of the much beloved festival venue The Spirit Of The Suwannee Music Park, passed away yesterday after a brief illness. Alongside his late wife, Jean, Bob lived a life of service to his fellow man in the furtherance of a truly beautiful dream. The Cornetts set out to bring people together, to build community, and to unite the world through the power of music.The love of the music of the Appalachian hills and the hollers of Kentucky led the couple to throw gatherings for their fellow fans. That music, made with instruments brought from distant lands by people looking to start new lives and new families, was and is the very essence of the American Dream. This lead to the founding of Kentucky’s longest running music gathering, The Festival Of The Bluegrass, held the second week of June each year at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.In time, the Cornetts wanted to create a place where the music could start earlier in the year and go later than the wintry weather of Kentucky would allow.  A place where music lovers from all walks of life could call home.  Their search found them a slice of paradise along the Suwannee, long ago immortalized in song by yet another Kentuckian, Stephen Foster. Jean Cornett fell in love with the scenic natural splendor of the Park and the couple quickly began to build what is today one of the most highly regarded festival venues in the world.Though Bob would joke that he mostly did everything to keep Jean happy, his exhaustive efforts to help build the Park clearly showed how much he cared. In the decades since, the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park has become a home to music fans of all varieties, all of them welcome in the home that Bob and Jean built. The Cornetts were that rare breed, a shining example of what could be accomplished when one sets their intention to build community.Music fans from the mountains of Kentucky, to the banks of the historic Suwannee River in Florida and beyond mourn the loss of this man and his late wife Jean as living, breathing gifts to the music community. Though our hearts are heavy at this loss, we should all be comforted by the thought that their legacy will endure.The legacy of Bob and Jean Cornett isn’t just festivals and a stage or two in the woods of northern Florida. It’s the shining example they set for us all. The living embodiment of serving each other, the heights we can scale when working together and the power of love itself.Bob and Jean Cornett had six sons. Though they experienced every parent’s fear when Hugh died in 1987 the rest of their children have thrived in no small part due to the lessons learned watching their parents. It’s that generational learning, the passing down of knowledge and love that speaks to the best hope for humanity itself.So, through one couple’s gesture, many lives are enriched. The actions the Cornetts took will reverberate outwards through history in the form of love and the community they fostered. Bob Cornett is survived by more than just five sons and a loving extended family–he is survived by us all. His actions remind us all of the things that can be built when one dreams of a better world and won’t stop until they make it happen. Rest well sir, you’ve earned it.Our own Rex Thomson, himself a Kentuckian and part of the Suwannee family, made the following video. It’s an attempt to both tell the history of the founding of the Suwannee Music Park and put faces to the names of the couple who built the much loved music mecca.[Video: RexAVision]last_img read more

Read More →

Hockey earns surpising spot in NCAA’s

first_imgFollowing last weekend?s loss to St. Cloud in the WCHAplayoffs, UW goaltender Shane Connelly said he hoped the hockey gods weresmiling down on the Badger hockey team.Considering UW earned a berth in this year?s NCAAtournament, the gods must have been grinning from ear to ear.Everything that needed to fall into place for Wisconsin tomake the tournament did. Notre Dame lost in its conference playoffs. TheMinnesota Golden Gophers kept winning. And Princeton won the ECAC Tournament.Despite a sub-.500 record and a losing streak of threegames, the Badgers are in, and they will face WCHA Tournament champion Denverat the Kohl Center Saturday.For Connelly and Co. to sneak in, there was no doubt a senseof surprise and jubilation.?I heard that we might be in,? Connelly said. ?But I watchedthat selection show, and a smile came on my face. We have a second chance, so Iwas pretty excited.?The Badgers were given a No. 3 seed in the 16-teamtournament. But the fact that they are still playing hockey at all is somethingmany people didn?t expect of Mike Eaves? squad.?It?s new life,? team captain Davis Drewiske said. ?Itdoesn?t matter how we got here; we?re here. So we?ll just take advantage ofit.?Saturday?s contest will pit two schools that have won theNCAA title three out of the past four years. Wisconsin laid claim to the trophyin 2006, while Denver won back-to-back championships in 2004 and 2005.The two teams split their only series of the year in Denver.The Pioneers came out on top of the first game 3-2 after a controversialno-call on a Matthew Ford goal. But UW came back with a statement win in theseries finale, topping the Pioneers 7-2.Thoughts of the no-goal call that cost them a potentialpoint in the 3-2 loss have lingered with the team, but Ford knows it?s time tomove on and take the good from what transpired in January.?I remember coach [Mark Osiecki] saying something onSaturday morning (after the loss) going, ?This could be a turning point,?? Fordsaid. ?And I think the next 10 games or so we played a lot better. So maybethat was what kind of gave us that boost to get us into where we are now.?Should Wisconsin win against Denver, it will take on the winnerof the North Dakota-Princeton series, also taking place Saturday in Madison.The winner of the Midwest regional will earn a spot in the Frozen Four inDenver.Also making the tournament from the WCHA ? arguably thetoughest conference in college hockey ? aside from UW, Denver and North Dakotawas Colorado College (No. 2 seed), St. Cloud State (No. 2 seed) and Minnesota(No. 3 seed). One conference team that will be on the outside looking in is theMinnesota State Mavericks, who boasted a better record than Wisconsin andtopped the Badgers in head-to-head play this season. But due to the computerrankings, they?ll be forced to watch the tournament from home.last_img read more

Read More →