The owner of a major Carlisle employer says a harsh business environment and company under performance are behind a reduced set of financial results.

Boparan Holdings Ltd, the parent company for 2 Sisters Food Group, reported that total sales and operating profit were down in quarter four of 2018 compared to the previous year.

2 Sisters owns Carlisle’s Cavaghan and Gray food production factory on Brunel Way, which this year won major contracts to supply M&S creating 200 jobs.

Following the M&S contracts Cavaghan and Gray announced a £7m expansion of the site.

Boparan Holdings' operating profits were down from £15.7m to £4.9m, while total sales were down from £815.7m to £803.7m.

A statement from the company said: “This quarter reflects the harsh external environment coupled with under performance in some parts of our business which have negatively affected profit margins.

“Reduced sales and profit reflect business disposals as well as the tough operating environment.

"Retailer price pressure and a lag on customer price increases, inflation, the weak pound and weather have all been factors, in addition to site closures and the associated short-term operational disruption.”

Ronald Kers, chief executive of 2 Sisters Food Group, said: “Our quarter four results reflect the difficult macro-economic backdrop and the challenges we have faced in our own business.

"Against this backdrop we have a clear strategic plan which we are executing at pace to improve business performance. “