Durban – While its chicken business appears to be on a downward spiral, RCL Foods has reassured the public that it is diversifying its business model."We continue to make progress in moving towards a more balanced portfolio, which is positioning us as a stronger, more diversified business that is geared for growth. This is evident in the performance of the rest of our businesses, excluding chicken," RCL Foods CEO Miles Dally said on Tuesday.RCL Foods, previously known as Rainbow Chicken, reduced its Hammarsdale operations outside Durban from two shifts to a single one. More than 1 000 employees have been retrenched from its chicken producing operations.RCL Foods has said it will be "materially impacted" by the severe challenges faced by the local poultry industry, due to dumped imports and high feed input costs.According to the company, its earnings per share for six months up to December 31, 2016, are expected to be down by between 37% and 54%.RCL Foods however said that its sugar business unit showed improvement."The turnaround within the Millbake business unit has progressed well with the Gauteng bakeries returning to profitability. Certain key brands within the groceries business unit have continued to grow volumes in a competitive market environment."The company added that it initiated a programme "to restore profitability" in its chicken business unit.RCL Foods is expected to release its interim financial results on February 23.