Allied Bakeries will invest tens of millions of pounds in the coming year on new equipment, in a bid to drive efficiency and protect margins.

The maker of Kingsmill bread said it would invest in its plants in the south of the country, having recently upgraded bakeries in the north including Glasgow and Stockport.

“New, bigger bread plant lines will reduce our cost base,” said John Bason, finance director at Associated British Foods, owner of Allied Bakeries.