Hovis brands grow

Premier Foods’ Hovis division saw positive growth in branded bakery last year. But retailer brand bakery and milling sales fell throughout 2009. Branded bakery sales saw positive sales growth of 13.3% year-on-year (YOY) to £370m, but sales of retailer brand bakery fell 15.7% YOY to £179m, and 25.2% in the fourth quarter. Milling revenue also fell 16.7% YOY to £193m, and was down 6.1% in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Uniq on the up

Convenience food group Uniq is back in the black after increased food-to-go sales helped steer the business back to positive sales growth. In its fourth quarter trading update, the firm announced that food-to-go sales were up 11.5% for the 13 weeks to 26 December.

Top Rankin for retailer

Irwin’s is to supply 100 Morrisons stores in the UK with its Rankin Selection pancakes, in a deal worth £150,000 per annum. It is the first time the Northern Irish bakery has supplied the retailer with mainstream morning goods, although it did already supply several of its Irish ethnic breads.

Northern’s solid rise

Northern Foods has announced a solid Christmas trading performance, with "good growth" in its Bakery and Chilled divisions. Underlying revenue within Bakery for the 13 weeks to 26 December was up 1.4%, due to good seasonal demand. Biscuits, including its Fox’s brand, performed well.

Property values drop

Retail property values have fallen by 16% compared to their peak in the fourth quarter of 2007, according to broker Christie + Co’s latest Business Outlook publication. It also revealed that average retail property prices for 2009 dropped by 9.8%.