Britain seems to be browned off with Hovis

Britons seems to have fallen out of love with Hovis, the bread brand that has been around since 1886 and is a staple of lunch-boxes across the nation.

Yesterday, its owner Premier Foods took an "impairment charge" of £282m on its bread division, admitting that its profitability has declined and may not recover.

Hovis is one of eight "Power Brands" that Premier believes can lead it back to success.

The others are Ambrosia, Oxo, Mr Kipling, Bisto, Batchelors, Sharwood's and Lloyd Grossman.

Premier said yesterday sales in 2011 fell 10.5 per cent to £1.99bn.

A trading profit of £188m, down 34 per cent, translates into a loss of £176m once the Hovis issue and other factors are taken intoaccount.