Convenience food group Greencore has indicated it would be keen get into bed with Tesco's new US venture Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market.

The Republic of Ireland-based company recently announced plans to set up a chilled foods business across the Atlantic, through acquisition, to cash in on increasing interest in the category among retailers in the States.

Chief financial officer Patrick Coveney said with Tesco Fresh & Easy stores promising a focus on chilled foods, a deal to supply Tesco could be on the cards.

"We are totally open to working with Tesco," he said. "It is already a huge customer of ours [in the UK] and we are excited about the impact it is having on the US market. We have targeted the ­categories in which we want to operate in the US and any modest acquisition we make there would have to be focused on customers - one of which could well be Tesco."

Coveney was speaking as Greencore posted a 32% increase in full-year pre-tax profit to £53.1m on sales up 7.6% to £908m.

Convenience food sales had been hit by poor summer weather and soaring raw material costs, said the company. But investment in improved technology had helped offset these pressures through better efficiency and reduced employee costs.

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