Premier poised to sell off Hovis

One of Britain's biggest bread brands, Hovis, looks increasingly likely to be sold after its owner, Premier Foods, said yesterday it was looking at a range of options to unlock value from an increasingly cutthroat business.

Premier said it has given up a bread contract with an unnamed supermarket chain from the middle of next year which, although it was worth £75m a year, made little profit.

While Hovis is one of Premier's eight core brands, the bread sector has become increasingly competitive.