Premier Foods’ plans to sell its troubled Hovis plant bakery business should become clearer over the coming months, as news emerged towards the end of last year that a shortlist of three candidates were interested in buying or investing in the business.
The closure of Premier Foods’ Barry mill in the Vale of Glamorgan – with the loss of 43 jobs last week – and plans to reorganise its milling business into two parts could herald its sale, according to City analyst Investec.
Britain’s biggest food manufacturer Premier Foods reported a 2% rise in underlying sales growth in an interim management statement covering the three months to September 30 that drew both praise and relief from City analysts.
Premier Foods is consulting with 140 staff employed over the closure of its Hovis head office in Windsor, with some job losses possible, while further redundancies will occur at the division's Avonmouth bakery.
A considerable number of workers at Hovis's bakery in Avonmouth could face redundancy as a result of plans to invest £4-5m in automating site processes, the Bakers Food & Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) has confirmed.
Premier Foods has promoted Hovis and chilled food boss Tim Kelly into the newly-created role of chief operating officer in a bid to "align its structure more closely" with its stated aim of "brand-building and innovation".