Associated British Foods plc (ABF) has said sales and profits will be up this year at Allied Bakeries, following the launch of its Kingsmill Great White loaf.

The company predicted strong operating profit performances from its grocery sector in a trading update prior to this year’s close period.

It also said the installation of its new bread plant in Stevenage is near completion, and is due to be commissioned in November this year.

Allied Bakeries’ Glasgow bakery is also near the end of its modernisation programme, this is where Kingsmill’s new Thins range is to be produced. These investments come as its Orpington plant is in employee consultation, following its proposed closure in August.

Integration of bakery ingredients

ABF ingredients firm AB Mauri completed the acquisition of a bakery ingredients arm, which operates across Western Europe.

The company said: “Its integration will broaden our product offering and our ability to respond to customer needs in a number of key markets.”

Ingredients revenues are also expected to be ahead of last year, despite sales at actual rates being lower. ABF said this was due to the strengthening of sterling and the fact its businesses were overseas.

It said: “AB Mauri made progress in all of its regions and in both the yeast and bakery ingredients businesses.”

The company’s overall year-end net debt is expected to be reduced from last year’s £0.8bn to around £0.5bn this year.

ABF’s full-year results, for the 52 weeks to 13 September 2014, are scheduled to be announced on 4 November 2014