RHM and Associated British Foods (ABF) have been named as the ninth- and tenth-largest bakery companies in the world in 2006.

Hovis and Nimble owner RHM, now owned by Premier Foods, took €1.33 billion from its bakery operations last year while ABF made €1.31bn, despite its relatively small bakery division - just 16% of the firm’s business.

A new report - Key Players in the Global Bakery Industry - from industry analyst Leatherhead Food International shows Japan and the US dominate the global bakery top 10 list.

Japanese company Yamazaki Baking is the world’s largest bakery firm, with an estimated bakery turnover of €3.76bn in 2005/06, while US food groups who do not even specialise solely in bakery take up most of the other positions. Kraft Foods is the second-largest baker, making €3.0bn, - bakery accounting for just 15% of the company’s overall business.

Some 14 of the 30 firms profiled are headquartered in Europe, with Danone the seventh-largest bakery business with a €2.02bn turnover.