Sales and profits fall for 2 Sisters owner

Total sales and profits were both down in the latest three-month period of trading for Boparan Holdings, the parent of Birmingham-based 2 Sisters Food Group.

The 2 Sisters chicken processing factory at West Bromwich
The 2 Sisters chicken processing factory at West Bromwich

The business, which has chicken processing factories in West Bromwich and Wolverhampton, saw pre-tax profits down £2.4 million to £61.9m for the 13 weeks to January 26.

Total sales were down 16.3 percent to £711.5m, although like-for-like sales grew one per cent to £684.1m for the quarter.

The business is in the midst of a turnaround by management with the focus on core businesses and embedding a new way of working in its UK poultry operation.

Two loss-making sites were closed in the quarter in line with the plan and it has sold off its sandwich business.

Net debt was down year-on-year by 27.7 per cent to £570m.

Chief executive Ronald Kers said: “We remain on course with our business turnaround at our financial half-year point, and we have created the necessary impetus to start seeing results emerging in the following quarters.

"Our UK poultry business has stabilised and we have completed further diagnostic work which will help improve performance. We have already seen encouraging signs in Europe with margin improvement following expansion, and positive results in our Added Value Poultry division in the UK. We have also identified exciting opportunities to grow value in Fox’s Biscuits.

"We are creating a highly-disciplined organisation with a leadership team embedding new business processes and ways of working, driving sustained cultural change. Further targeted investments and divisional restructurings will continue, and there will be selective spend on machinery upgrades and automation.

"Lasting change and consistent performance will take time, but our strategy is gaining traction, giving us confidence in the business turnaround plan.”

The poultry business in the UK was affected by double-digit inflation in feed prices and operational challenges during the Christmas period.

The growth in its ready meals business was offset by higher distribution costs and product mix pressures.

The group said the overall environment remains challenging with inflation and Brexit-related economic uncertainty affecting margins.

Last week it was revealed that up to 240 jobs were at risk at its Fox's Biscuits site in Uttoxeter where one in three jobs could go.

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