Greencore chief executive Patrick Coveney has hailed “a resilient response to a challenging year” after the convenience food giant announced a rise in sales of 13% to €1.31bn.
Average category volume growth in the UK business was 2%, although ready meals and ambient grocery performed more sluggishly.
The results include an 8% rise in sales at its convenience foods division to €864m, while the ingredients business performed even more strongly, with sales up by almost 30% to just over €414m.
Greencore said its food-to-go business, which includes the key sandwich offering as well as sushi and prepared salads, grew its market share by 1% during the year to take 28% of the domestic market.
The results draw a line under a difficult period for the company following the revelation that a former executive had concealed costs at its mineral water business – issues Greencore said were now “fully resolved”.
“These results represent a resilient response to a challenging year which saw double-digit food inflation, a dramatic weakening in sterling, declining confidence in all consumer markets and the negative impact of a cost concealment issue at our mineral water business,” said Coveney.
“Despite these headwinds, our group has delivered constant currency growth in sales, profit and EPS. Our portfolio continues to work well in each of our core markets, we have a well-financed balance sheet and we have made excellent early progress in our new North America convenience foods business – a strategy that will in time transform the scale, shape and returns of our group.”
The company also cut its debt by 11% over the year to €283.4m.