2 Sisters chief executive officer (CEO) Ronald Kers predicted even brighter times ahead as the company’s UK poultry operation began to benefit following fundamental changes to operational planning capabilities. Its protein and chilled capabilities also looked strong, he said.
“The news from our Gunstones Bakery business is also a positive sign of turnaround, and we are determined to ensure investments we have announced in UK Poultry and Fox’s Biscuits deliver the returns we expect,” said former Müller global CEO Kers, who took the helm at 2 Sisters in May 2018 after Ranjit Singh Boparan announced he was stepping down from the role earlier that year.
“Further divisional restructurings will continue, as will a relentless focus on improving our balance sheet position. Lasting change cannot come about overnight, but these results do show our strategy is gaining momentum as green shoots begin to appear.”
Protein, chilled, branded
In protein, underlying like-for-like sales grew by 2.7% and £4.7m was added to like-for-like pre-tax profit in the quarter. Like-for-like sales in chilled grew by 8.7%, although like-for-like pre-tax profit in that area declined by £0.8m. Like-for-like branded sales increased by 2.2%, while £0.4m was wiped off like-for-like pre-tax profit there.
Boparan Holdings said it had returned to sustainable profitability at 2 Sisters’ Gunstones Bakery plant. The next stage of its UK poultry footprint changes was under consultation and the restructure of its Fox’s Uttoxeter facility was progressing to plan, with cost reductions expected from 2019-2020, it added.
Net debt over the period continued to rise, from £622.6m during last year’s third financial quarter to £624.8m in the same time span in 2019.
2 Sisters reported strong double-digit like-for-like pre-tax profit growth of 19% to £21.9m for the 13 weeks ended 27 April compared to the same period last year. Like-for-like sales for the period rose by 1.2% to £663m.