2 Sisters optimistic despite sales drop

Boparan Holdings, parent company of 2 Sisters Food Group, is remaining optimistic despite seeing a total sales drop for the first quarter of 2015/2016. 

In the 13 weeks to 31 October 2015, total sales fell 3.5% while operating profit for the period was down 17.7%.

Like-for-like sales in its protein division were down 2% to £538.6m from £549.7m in 2014/15. Operating profit for the division was £8.6m, down from £15.5m in the same period last year. Its chilled division saw a 5.1% like-for-like sales drop while its branded wing had a modest 0.2% sales growth in the quarter.

Despite the sales and profit drop, Boparan Holdings was optimistic about prospects for its protein arm, citing major investments as the key to future success.

In a statement, it said: “We have continued to cement our strong position with leading customers by offering them new products such as wings, which utilises more of the chicken, as well as securing major business wins in poultry and in red meat with new customers. The benefits of this new business will start to show in future quarters.”

The company also noted that investment in tackling the campylobacter superbug had yielded positive results. “We continue to build our leadership in UK poultry and this has been further demonstrated by our award-winning £10m campylobacter reduction programme, launched in November 2014. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) noted in its latest campylobacter data report, published in November 2015, a reduction in the highest rates of campylobacter, and our own data analysis confirms these trends. With the further use of new factory interventions rolling out early in 2016, we are hopeful of an even greater reduction in campylobacter, reducing its presence below the industry target. We are driving forward with our £150m investment in the poultry business.”

Ranjit Singh, 2 Sisters Food Group CEO, detailed the investments the company has been making, including the £55m investment at its Rogerstone and Pennine ready meals sites.

“The investment in the business we announced in the last financial year is well under way,” he said. “In poultry, we are already working to implement the £150m investment programme that will revolutionise the supply chain. In Ready Meals, work has commenced at both the Pennine and Rogerstone sites, with the latter due to complete in mid-2016, and we are now leasing an additional site in Derbyshire, which will enable us to increase capacity and allows us to facilitate the Protein Footprint Programme quicker without increased cost.

“The measures we introduced to reduce campylobacter in poultry, in conjunction with our customers, have been recognised not only by industry awards and through positive feedback from media and key commentators, but also by the FSA, which pointed to ‘significant’ progress in its recent quarterly review.”

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