Kingsmill maker Associated British Food’s pre-tax profits rose 4% to £655m for the year to 12 September.

Twinings, Ovaltine and Allied Bakeries all made strong progress, chairman Charles Sinclair said, while Kingsmill’s Little Big Loaf – a smaller loaf with full-sized slices that was launched in September – had been well received.

“There was some evidence of consumers trading down to cheaper products, but the group’s major grocery brands, particularly Kingsmill, held up well,” Sinclair said.

The company also pointed to its sugar division as a driver for growth, with a strong performance from British Sugar offsetting “disappointing” results in China. Total sales were up 12% to £9.3bn compared to the previous year.

Healthy bread suffers as price becomes key (31/10/09)
Kingsmill keeps its slice size up in battle of the Little Big Loaf (5/9/09)
Weak pound helps ABF to revenue surge (9/7/09)