Former chief executive Ranjit Singh Boparan, who has announced plans to move up to the role of president of Boparan Holdings, would also focus on three business priorities, the company said.
The firm reported growth of 1.5% in like-for-like revenue in the 13 weeks ended 27 January 2018 over the same period last year. Like-for-like operating profit dropped by 71.1% from £19.7m to £5.7m compared to Q2 trading last year.
Like-for-like profit margin shrank from 2.4% in Q2 last year to 0.7% in the same period this year. Profit before interest, tax and declining value of tangible and intangible assets fell by £42m over the past 12 months, from £181.2m to £139.2m.
Comparing the two periods, net debt increased for the company by £25.5m, from £763.2m to £788.7m. However, the business highlighted that it had cut net debt by £34.9m compared to Q1.
Meanwhile, Boparan Holdings outlined Boparan’s focus for enhancing the business. These would consist of three pillars: cutting debt, supporting the development of a world-class development team and continuing the drive towards the creation of a better, more transparent and simpler business.
Commenting on the results, Boparan said: “During the second quarter we have delivered a solid top line revenue performance, but our near term profitability has been impacted by the major challenges we have faced during the period.
“We are focused on the basics, and the investments we are making provide a clear springboard to drive through meaningful and lasting change across the business. Despite the recent challenges in our UK poultry operations, our change programme is building on firm foundations, with strong core businesses.”
The search for Boparan's replacement as chief executive continues. However, the company stressed that chief operating officer Martyn Fletcher was taking full charge of the company’s operations. He said: “In everything we do there is a relentless focus on delivering great quality, service and value to our customers. We have a clear and comprehensive improvement plan in place and are making good progress so far.
“There is more to do, but already we are seeing the impact of lots of small, but important changes we’re making at our production sites and across the company. We are determined to achieve the highest quality products, standards and best in class service our customers rely on.”