Greencore said proceeds from disposals exceeded targets by 40m euros to boost full-year profit as group turnover rose on the back of its acquisition of Hazelwood Foods.

The Irish food manufacturer said to September 27 pre-tax profit rose to 11.5m euros from 2.08m last year. Turnover increased 23% to 1.59bn euros and like-for-like sales growth was 8%.

Chief executive David Dilger said Hazlewood Foods had been fully integrated into the group and proceeds from its disposal programme amounted to 230m euros.

Dilger noted that the convenience food businesses in the chilled and frozen division saw like-for-like sales of 9% in line with consumer demand for fresh prepared food. But efficiencies were needed at its new chilled pizza facility, he added.

Like-for-like sales in ambient grocery were up 7%, while steps had been taken to improve its UK bread business. Operational delays at the new cake and desserts facility were offset by the Hazlewood businesses, as well as good performances at the mineral water and ambient sauces businesses.

The ingredients division was impacted by the decline in profitability in Irish Sugar, while like-for-like sales in agribusiness rose by 14%.

Dilger concluded that debt had been reduced by 159m euros and looked forward to “another year of good progress”.