The 2 Sisters Food Group had losses of more than £7 million in the 13 weeks until the end of January, the financial report from its parent company Boparan Holdings has revealed.
Total sales were recorded at £626.5 million but profits were affected by the falling pound along with restructuring and the associated costs for the group.
The second quarter like-for-like sales were up by 5.4 per cent in what is a tough and competitive market, with Christmas business being described as solid. However, it was driven by a higher promotional activity than usual.
A level performance in the chilled sector was reported but a challenging outlook is faced in the second half, while the branded category remains tough, with a frozen recovery being offset by biscuits.
Ranjit Singh, chief executive of 2 Sisters Food Group, said that every single member of the 18,000-strong team helped to ensure that the Christmas period ran smoothly, delivering on plan for its customers.
"We made good progress to complete our phased recovery of higher feed costs by the end of quarter two, but forward feed prices remain volatile. Looking forward, we also expect considerable volume reduction in our ready meals business during the second half year following media coverage of horsemeat issues, which have impacted the food industry as a whole and beef related ready meals in particular," he added.
As a result of this, the company said that it was remaining cautious on the outlook, with continued inflation and competitive trading conditions in a tough economic environment sitting alongside the dilutive effect of the recent VION acquisition.
"We will need to invest with our customers to maintain sales growth for the remainder of our financial year," Mr Singh continued.
The VION move secured jobs at three Scottish sites, with 2 Sisters Food Group stating that it would help it meet growing demand.
In total 11 processing plants will be taken over, including those in Coupar Angus and Portlethen.