FOX’S parent company has admitted the biscuit market has been ‘tough’ in its latest financial results.
Boparan Holdings Limited, which purchased Northern Foods, revealed in the first quarter results for the 13 weeks ending October 27 that there had been a steady performance in the branded sector.
However, it said the biscuits market was tough and ‘highly promotional’ and brand investment had included television, radio and social media.
The business, which is the holding company for the 2 Sisters Food Group, as a whole reported its total sales at £616.7 million which is up 9.2 per cent from £565 million from the same period last year.
Its like-for-like sales were at £587 million, up five per cent from £559.3 million, and its Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITA) at £2.77 million which is reduced by 1.01 per cent.
The report states the company had a solid start to the new year which is in line with expectations.
Referring to the branded sector, the report states “Like-for-like sales were up 0.4 per cent with frozen continuing to steadily recover, driving operating profit margin per cent improvement, whilst biscuits performance was impacted by higher levels of promotions, increases in own label sales and a later phasing of seasonal business.”
Ranjit Singh, CEO of 2 Sisters Food Group, said: “We have made a solid start to our new financial year, in challenging market conditions.
“Despite the tough consumer environment and lapping sales gains made last year, we grew sales during the first quarter as we work hard to deliver food for every meal occasion.
“Trading conditions remain challenging, with high food commodity inflation, notably poultry feed costs and increased levels of promotions.
“Nevertheless, we have made good progress so far in recovering the impact of higher feed costs.
“By continuing to put the customer at the heart of everything we do, and being prepared in invest in growth, we remain well placed to grow our business.”