Premier Foods has announced strong growth for Hovis’ branded bakery, and plans to push for further sales of white bread.In the firm’s preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2009, it announced that branded bakery sales for Hovis grew by 13.5% to £370m, though it explained the increase in volume sales was partly offset by pricing with the proportion of bread sold on promotion higher than in 2008.Retailer brand bakery fell by 15.6% to £179m, but Premier noted that the loss in non-branded sales was “more than offset” by increased volumes of branded bread. Regarding future opportunities, Premier said growth was still available from “expanding in segments of the market in which Hovis is under-represented, such as white bread”.Total bakery sales in the Hovis division were up 2% to £549m. Milling sales fell by 16.8% to £193m, as raw material costs had a significant effect, according to the firm. This resulted in a fall in total sales for Hovis of 3.6% to £742m. However, trading profit for the division was up 75% from £24m in 2008 to £42m in 2009.