6 (5) Hovis
: £408.6m -0.9%
Launch: 1886

To call 2012 a diffcult year for Hovis would be to put it mildly. In November, brand owner Premier Foods announced it was closing two bakeries following the loss of a £75m contract with The Co-operative Group.

Then, one of the worst UK wheat crops in decades proved that it never rains but it pours. In January, Hovis was forced to abandon its 2010 pledge to use only home-grown wheat and begin sourcing from abroad.

It also had to increase prices, which means that the 0.9% slip in value sales masks a far more serious decline in volumes.

New Premier CEO Gavin Darby will have to put Hovis at the top of his ‘to do’ list.