Greencore US sandwich making

Sales of prepared meals at Greencore were down

Greencore has reported a strong increase in full-year profits despite suffering a significant slowdown in prepared meal sales.

The own-label specialist posted an 11.8% increase in adjusted profit before tax for the year ending 27 September to £61.6m. During the year, turnover increased by 3% to £1.2bn.

The horsemeat scandal depressed sales of prepared meals – which include ready meals, quiches and soups – by 5.2% on a like-for-like basis.

However, Greencore’s food to go business performed well, with sales up 4.4% and the US business also had a good year.

Greencore said US sales were up 60% following the acquisitions of MarketFare and Schau last year. In the second half of the year, the company launched a range of sandwiches, bistro boxes and parfaits for Starbucks from four factories in the US.

“Greencore had a good year in 2013, with clear commercial, strategic and organisational progress delivered across the Group,” said Greencore CEO Patrick Coveney.

“We consolidated our portfolio after the extensive deal activity of the three preceding years, increased revenue at our US business by over 60% and realigned our resources behind a food to go-led strategy. All this was achieved despite a weak UK consumer environment, limited growth in retail food markets, persistent input cost inflation and the negative impact of the horsemeat scandal.”

Read this: Greencore CEO Patrick Coveney on Horsegate, Starbucks and his relief over Northern