“One-off exceptional items (including factory sales, closures and refinancing costs) have negatively impacted profit for the full year,” the poultry giant reported.
“The loss for the year after interest and taxation of £143.3M (2013: £33.5M) was adversely affected by restructuring costs and other exceptional items amounting to £101.1M (2013: £25.5M) and financial charges of £62.4M in relation to refinancing the group’s debt capital.”
Beyond that, the group stated it had been a bumpy ride throughout the year.
Chilled sales fell
Chilled food sales fell by 8% across the year, reflecting the difficult trading environment and exits from underperforming salads and cakes businesses over the period.
That said, the firm stated that it had invested in capacity for growth in meal solutions and specialist bakery. Recent business wins and new launches had reversed the division’s fortunes in the first quarter of the new financial year, it claimed.
While the company grew per-exceptional operating profit in its branded division by more than 40%, sales fell by 3%, helped by higher pizza sales. It said it expected its current Fox’s Biscuits marketing and advertising campaign to reinvigorate the brand.
Strong growth in protein
2 Sisters reported strong sales growth of 35.4% in its protein division, virtually doubled operating profit and said its integration of the Vion business, which it acquired last year, was on track.
“In protein, we completed the investment and consolidation of cooked meats at Cambuslang following the closure of Haughley Park in H1 [the first half of the financial year], although we still have efficiency improvements to make,” said ceo Ranjit Boparan, commenting on the annual figures.
“We progressed our cost reduction plan in Scotland, consolidated production at Coupar Angus and exited the Letham poultry site.”
In the 53 weeks to August 2 2014, 2 Sisters grew like-for-like operating profit by 5.9%, from £91.9M to £97.3M on sales up 2.4%, from £2.8bn to £2.9bn. Pre-tax profit rose 1.3%, from £178M to £180.3M, slightly ahead of forecasts.