Overall, the firm reported total sales up by 13.4% to £2.34bn, and underlying earnings up by almost 12% to £190.3M.
Ranjit Boparan, the firm’s ceo, said the group was on track to reach a £3bn sales target by 2015 but remained challenged by rising raw material prices.
Significant increases in feed prices
The group reported further significant increases in feed prices over recent months, which will result in further inflation in poultry and other protein markets.
“We continue to work closely with our customers on recovery of these higher feed prices, as this is essential to secure the viability and supply of the poultry farming and processing capability in the UK,” said the firm in a statement.
But it expected continuing short-term margin pressure in its poultry sector caused by the lag between commodity price increases and recovery.
Boparan said: “While we have made a solid start to our new financial year, looking ahead, we remain cautious in a difficult economic environment. Trading conditions are very challenging with high food commodity inflation, further recent significant increases in feed prices and cash-conscious consumers.
“Despite these pressures, we will continue to work with our customers to deliver quality and value to consumers, invest in our brands, in innovation and our people, and drive efficiency over the course of the year.”