Associated British Foods (ABF) has announced a 12% increase in the company’s revenue, with its Allied Bakeries business performing well and securing 4% growth for its Grocery division.

In the 16 weeks to 7 January 2012, the group announced Kingsmill, in particular, had helped boost its UK grocery sales, but strong competition, driven by a high level of promotion, had affected the bread brand’s margins.

In addition, the company’s Ingredients division saw a 2% increase in revenue, but marked a struggle in its yeast and bakery ingredients business, particularly in last year’s second half, which continued during the period. It attributed its difficulty to increases in raw material costs and a highly competitive trading environment in many of its markets.

ABF commented on progress being made in improving productivity at the yeast extracts factory in Harbin, China which, combined with growth in enzymes, delivered some improvement at ABF Ingredients.

The company rounded up its overall results by noting, in its interim management statement, that its trading performance for the period was in line with expectations.

Twinings Ovaltine also continued to perform very well for the group, with good growth for tea in the US and for Ovaltine in developing markets.