Allied Bakeries, the company behind Kingsmill, Burgen, Allinson and Sunblest, which is part of Associated British Foods (ABF), has shown "substantial improvement" over the past year in provisional figures announced ahead of the interim results to 1 March 2008.

In a statement, ABF said: "The UK bakery business benefited from improvement in operational performance, higher volumes and achievement of price increases that recovered higher wheat costs."

In ingredients, the Brazilian yeast business benefited from lower operating and molasses costs. The expansion of the Argentinean plant had created one of the lowest cost plants in the world, said ABF. Increased demand led to further investment in yeast and yeast extract capacity in north-east China.

ABF sold its UK-based emulsifier business in February.