Associated British Foods (ABF) has revealed revenues in its grocery arm were up 7% on the same period last year in its third-quarter trading period.

Revenues in grocery were 3% up for the 40 weeks to 22 June 2013.

The interim financial statement, published today (11 July), noted the successful integration of Allied Bakeries’ new supply contract to The Co-operative, which commenced in April this year, seeing 4,000 stores added to its distribution network

In an analyst’s note this morning, Graham Jones of Panmure Gordon said: “We estimate this new business makes Allied Bakeries the UK’s second-largest bread supplier and we understand additional volume has also been secured, which will stretch its lead over Hovis further.”

ABF added that its capital expenditure programme to upgrade and modernise its bakeries had continued, with commissioning of its new Walthamstow plant ahead of schedule.

Revenue in its sugar business was 15% lower than last year, for the last 16 weeks, which the group said mainly reflected “a different phasing of UK volumes and the timing of shipments of Zambian exports to the EU”. It said year-to-date revenues were 1% ahead.

ABF added that world sugar prices had fallen steadily over the past two years, and this was starting to translate into a slight softening of European prices for the forthcoming year.

Revenues in its ingredients division were 5% higher than the comparable period last year, with the performance of its yeast business having seen some stabilisation this year. However, it said the market remained very competitive. “ABF Ingredients achieved growth in bakery, feed and speciality enzymes, extruded grain products and pharmaceutical lipid excipients,” it said.

ABF’s group revenue to date was up 9%.