Allied Bakeries is continuing to make progress in recovering its losses, according to owner Associated British Food (ABF).

The Kingsmill and Allinson’s producer – which made a loss in the year to September 2017 - enjoyed good trading over the Christmas period, ABF reported in an update today (26 February).

“Volumes at Allied Bakeries in the UK remained strong,” stated ABF, adding that “some progress has been made in reducing the loss for this financial year”.

Allied has held discussions about raising bread prices with retailers after coming under pressure from low retail pricing and a highly competitive bread market.

ABF also reported that UK sales of Ryvita crispbread have suffered from strong competition, although Ryvita Thins had shown continued growth. The company added that its new Ryvita bakery at Bardney, Lincolnshire, is expected to be commissioned in September.

Revenue from ABF’s ingredients division – which includes AB Mauri – is expected to be up year-on-year in constant currency.

“Good progress is expected at both AB Mauri and ABF Ingredients and margin will again show improvement at the half year,” the company stated.

“In North America, AB Mauri is benefiting from the successful integration of the bakery ingredients business acquired last year and improved plant performance. The business in South America has per-formed well given the challenging economic conditions.”

The trading update was given ahead of ABF entering the close period for its interim results for the 24 weeks to 3 March 2018. These are scheduled to be announced on 17 April 2018.