Baking more than 1m loaves of bread a week, under brands such as Hovis and Mothers Pride, Rank Hovis McDougall claims to supply about one-third of the UK’s daily bread from its 18 bakeries. It also makes 850 different varieties of other products such as crumpets, rolls and scones. Along with the one million tonnes of flour that Rank Hovis McDougall produces every year from its 11 mills, sales at the Marlow-based company reached an annualised £1.8bn in 2001, when it had 21,010 staff. The company was bought by venture capitalists Doughty Hanson from the engineering conglomerate, Tomkins, in 2000 for £1.2bn, and may float in 2002.
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