Boparan Holdings, 2 Sisters’ parent company, saw overall sales down 3.9% for the same period last year to £779.7M, while Q3 like-for-like sales rose by 1.1% to £798.7M.
Despite feeling the effects of avian flu outbreaks earlier in the year, as well as a negative consumer reaction to the Food Standards Agency’s reporting of campylobacter, Q3 revenues for 2 Sisters’ protein division were up 0.8% to £560.9M, it said.
It was likely the protein division would report stronger results in Q4 as it continued to regain share in the poultry sector, 2 Sisters indicated.
“We now see positive volume trends starting to return in poultry as deflation, passed on to the supermarkets, is starting to filter through to consumers,” the firm said.
Boost in ready meal sales
Chilled saw a 1.9% rise in like-for-like sales on Q3 last year to £145.3M, which was driven by a boost in ready meal sales, the report showed.
Major investments in the division were in the final stages of completion, the details of which were likely to be announced in 2 Sisters’ next update, it said.
“With more retailer product launches in the pipeline and further contract gains since the Q2 announcement, the division has almost recovered pre-horsegate performance levels,” 2 Sisters claimed.
Branded revenue was also up and now stood at £92.5M, up by 2%, which was driven by a strong performance in frozen.
“We are also investing in frozen pizza capacity to enable new product launches, and we have also secured a contract for more retailer ranges for launch in November 2015,” it added.
The firm’s outlook for the next quarter was positive, despite the challenging environment, after a strategy to deliver an improved performance had been implemented, the firm said.
Future growth will be as a result of “targeted investment”, claimed ceo Ranjit Singh. 2 Sisters’ protein division would continue to see investment, while further plans for chilled investment were being finalised, Singh said.
“It underlines our commitment to focus on building a better business, which leads the food sector and is passionate about putting customers and consumers first,” he added.
“We have said targeted investment will be the key for our future growth, and I’m pleased to announce plans for continued investment in our protein business, with further plans being finalised for investment in our chilled division.
“These investments will take our performance and ranges to the next level.”
Meanwhile, up to 550 workers at 2 Sisters' Gunstones bakery in Sheffield went on a 48-hour strike over pay earlier this month, with a further 48-hour strike planned later this month.