Greencore’s acquisition of Uniq helped the convenience food business deliver a 36.7% rise in group operating profits to £31.7m, with sales up 49.9% to £567.7m for the six months to 30 March.

The company said sales from continuing activity for the combined Greencore and Uniq business, excluding the Uniq desserts lines it has sold or is in the process of selling, were up 9.3%. Like-for-likes in its convenience foods division were up 9.7%.

“The acquisition of Uniq last year has reshaped our group and we are on track to deliver all of the targeted integration benefits,” said chief executive Patrick Coveney.

He hailed the acquisition of US-based MarketFare Foods in April as “the next step in building a business of real scale in the US, strengthening our position in the food to go/convenience channel”.

Greencore said its increased scale was beginning to deliver procurement benefits and efficiencies in its supply chain.

Uniq’s Spalding salads business has been fully integrated into the Greencore food-to-go arm. Meanwhile, the Northampton sandwiches unit is operating as a separate category business within UK convenience foods and the merged desserts operations are running as a single category business, Greencore said.

The majority of the planned contract exits in yoghurts and everyday desserts have now been completed. Greencore has also started the transfer of production of premium desserts lines from Minsterley to Evercreech. This process will be completed by the end of the year.