Three former bosses of embattled Premier Foods, the company behind the Hovis and Mr Kipling brands, received pay-offs of more than £1.4m, it was revealed yesterday.

Former chief executive Robert Schofield was paid nearly £420,000 on top of his £467,000 salary, while chief operating officer Tim Kelly and finance director Jim Smart received payments worth about £1m in total. And, new chief executive Michael Clarke received a £1.94m “golden hello” to compensate him for lost bonuses from his previous job with Kraft.

The news of the pay-out was revealed in the company’s annual report and also follows the downgrading of its bread division by £282m after a whopping 90.4% slump in profits.