CSM has revealed it has received initial non-binding offers for its Bakery Supplies activities in Europe and North America.

The Netherlands-based firm, which announced news of the divestment last May to focus on its bio-based ingredients brands, reported the update at the same time as it published its unaudited results within its fourth-quarter and full-year trading update.

As part of a review on its stategic transformation, CSM said it has given a selected group of potential buyers access to data, ahead of the release of its full 2012 figures on 13 March, in which the firm said “post balance events, if any, resulting from the divestment process will be evaluated”.

During Q4, sales in CSM’s European arm of the Bakery Supplies business rose by 6% in local currencies, with the company explaining that increased sales within the retail and in-store bakery markets were the main driver of the growth, with the rate of decline in artisanal channels slowing down in comparison to previous quarters.

The North American divison’s businesses, including Bakery Products, Caravan Ingredients and BakeMark, grew sales by 2.8% to $17.7m (£11.24m).

Overall, the group saw a 2.5% rise in sales of €52.2m (£44.7m) to €854.7m (£731.2m) in the fourth quarter, with full-year sales increasing by 6.5%. 

Gerard Hoetmer, chief executive of CSM, said: “I am very pleased we have achieved a further recovery in our underlying results for the whole of 2012 and particularly in Q4 2012, despite having to contend with the ongoing challenging market environment at the same time as pursuing the strategic transformation of CSM.

“Numerous initiatives have been deployed throughout the organisation to improve volumes and to increase profits. The success of these initiatives is evidenced by the resumption of volume growth in Bakery Supplies in Q4. The positive momentum will continue to deliver growing benefits in the coming quarters.”

CSM has announced its general shareholders meeting will take place on 6 May.