Revenue contributed from Premier Foods’ Bread division has dropped by 27% in the half-year to 30 June 2012.

Its divisional contribution fell from £30.7m in 2011 to £22.5m this year, as branded sales and its milling division took a hit on sales.

Branded bread sales fell 2.9% to £184.3m, from £189.7m, while milling sales fell 8.3% to £95.2m.
The company’s non-branded bread sales increased 1.5% to £68.8m, but this was not enough to stop Premier’s total bread sales registering a decline (-1.7%).

The group’s Power Brands, which include Hovis, saw sales up 2% overall, with the grocery Power Brands achieving a sales rise of 4.9%. Overall group underlying trading profit increased by 3.2%.

Michael Clarke, chief executive officer, said: “I’m pleased with the progress we are making to stabilise the business, refocus the portfolio and invest in our future growth. Our strategy of focusing on our Power Brands is starting to gain traction.”

He said plans to simplify the business and drive further efficiency and effectiveness were proceeding ahead of plan and the company would deliver the previously announced £40m savings by the end of 2012.