Quarterly underlying profits at 2 Sisters’s parent company Boparan rose for the first time in over two years, as the chicken giant’s turnaround strategy has begun to take hold.

Third quarter like-for-like Ebidta jumped 19% to £21.9m in the 13-week period to April 27, representing the first adjusted earnings rise in 10 quarters. Total earnings however, dropped 22% to £21.7m due to the divestment of a number of non-core businesses.

On a like-for-like basis, sales marginally increased to £663m from £655.4m, with the 1.2% rise driven by growth in 2 Sisters’ protein division, which makes up the bulk of the company’s sales.

Margins rose by 50 basis points to 3.3%.

2 Sisters experienced like-for-like sales growth in all three divisions during the quarter, with protein up 2.7%, chilled rising 8.7% and branded up 2.2%.

“These results represent the first like-for-like Ebitda growth in two and a half years, providing confidence that the turnaround actions are taking hold,” 2 Sisters Food Group CEO Ronald Kers said.

“There are still substantial challenges the business faces, but these results do represent an important first step in demonstrating that we are stabilising the group and making sure we follow through with the right set of actions to deliver growth.”

Total turnover decreased 21% to £665.4m from £836.7m as sales were slashed by the closure of the company’s 5 Star Fish and Cambuslang facilities last year.

As part of the ongoing restructuring effort, 2 Sisters announced plans to close another poultry processing site in Witham, Essex, last month with more than 500 jobs facing the axe.

The far-reaching programme is part of a push to streamline the company’s manufacturing estate and improve competitiveness.

Kers added that divisional restructuring will “continue” as 2 Sisters seeks improvement to its balance sheet.

“Lasting change cannot come about overnight, but these results do show our strategy is gaining momentum as green shoots begin to appear,” he concluded.

The meat giant’s net debt at the end of the quarter was £624.8m, representing a year-on-year 0.4% increase.