Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 14°C

ESTD 1874 Search

East Anglia: 2 Sisters Food Group reports £33.5m annual loss

12:06 29 October 2013

The 2 Sisters chicken factory at Haughley Park.

The 2 Sisters chicken factory at Haughley Park.

Archant

Poultry, ready meals and biscuits group 2 Sisters, which earlier this month confirmed plans to close a roast chicken factory near Stowmarket with the loss of more than 600 jobs, today reported an annual loss after continuing to feel the squeeze from the horsemeat scandal.

shares

The company said profits had also been eroded by its purchase of loss-making chicken, beef and lamb operations from Dutch food group VION, which included sites at Eye in Suffolk and Witham in Essex, as well as currency swings and higher ingredient prices.

Birmingham-based 2 Sisters, owned by entrepreneur Ranjit Singh Boparan, reported losses of £33.5million in the year to the end of July after exceptional items, interest and tax. That compared with profits of £42.5m a year earlier.

Like-for-like sales grew 5.6% to £2.4billion. Including acquisitions, total sales surged 23.3% to £2.9bn, as the group consolidated its position as one of Britain’s biggest food producers.

2 Sisters has been on a debt-fuelled growth spurt since buying Yorkshire-based Goodfella’s pizza and Fox’s biscuit maker Northern Foods for £342m in 2011.

But it said the market saw ready meal sales plunge by as much as 40% when the horsemeat scandal emerged early this year, after traces of horse DNA were found in frozen beefburgers sold in Tesco, Iceland, Aldi and Lidl.

That hurt sales in its chilled food division, which makes ready meals for chains including Marks & Spencer, even though no traces of horsemeat were found in its products.

2 Sisters warned that harsh conditions are set to continue as the ready meals market recovers slowly and household budgets remain under pressure.

It continues to close plants to slash costs, and shut a factory in Leicester in June and earlier this month announced the closure of the roast chicken site at Haughley Park, with 750 jobs going in total.

Mr Boparan said: “Trading conditions have been very tough with inflation impacting cash-squeezed consumers and the impact of the horsemeat scandal on the food sector.

“We expect the economic environment to remain tough and we will work with our customers to deliver quality and value to consumers, invest in our brands, in innovation and our people, and improve efficiency.”

The group is launching about 100 new traditional meals, ranging from roast beef to chilli con carne, to rebuild the ready meals sector.

And it said it aims to return the Vion business, which earned sales of £365m under its 20 weeks of ownership, to profit next year.

shares

0 comments

Kelly-Anne Byres of Poppy Nursing and Care Services, which is based in Ipswich.

A young entrepreneur from Suffolk is among those recognised in the 2015 35 Women Under 35 Awards.

The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP is at Ickworth Park in Horringer to officially open the new biomass boiler. Amber Rudd is pictured with L-R: Jonathan Rhodes (programme manager - Ickworth), Dee Gathorne-Hardy (senior ranger) and Patrick Begg (programme director - Ickworth).

The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change will visit Suffolk today to officially launch a major new environmentally-friendly installation at Ickworth Estate.

Post Office

The branch on High Street will be shut for two weeks and is set for longer opening hours after works.

John Cox of NatWest.

The East of England witnessed the slowest rate of growth of any region or nation in Great Britain during the first three months of 2015, according to a study by the Royal Bank of Scotland group.

Mark Rigby, chief executive of business rates specialist CVS.

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is facing a backlog of more than 280,000 appeals over business rates.

British Chambers of Commerce director general John Longworth.

Fresh signs are emerging of “two tier” growth in the UK economy, with firms within the services sector peforming markedly more strongly than those in manufacturing, according to a new study.

Mark and Spencer has posted a drop in quarterly clothing sales, after a colder May impacted demand for its spring and summer collections.

High street giant Marks & Spencer today posted a drop in quarterly clothing sales, after a colder May impacted demand for its spring and summer collections.

From left, John Nicholson,  Andy Bloomfield  and Chris Pont of IJYI.

Ipswich-based software development firm IJYI has taken on its second apprentice in the space of six months.

015 Flippie 1

A social media start-up which aims to rival the likes of Facebook and LinkedIn says it has won a significant investment ahead of its autumn launch.

Students at UCS in Interior Architecture and Design, have been taking part in a design competition to design an entrance canopy for the St Edmunds House apartments in Rope Walk.
Ross Carroll, director of Crown House Homes, left, with course tutor Dr Liana Psarologaki, and Annali Hubbard of Palmer & Partners estate agents, and some of the course students, Elliott Jones, Bryony Briggs, Dan Hutton, Amy Schuller and Michelle Villar

Apartment developers hold a design competition with university students

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages