Irish food company Greencore Group has reported strong half-year trading in its convenience division with operating profit up 5% to E31.8m (£21.6m) on sales up 8.2% at E478m (£325m).

Sales were boosted by market share growth in its sandwiches, prepared foods, mineral water and continental businesses, Greencore said.

“The performance and prospects for convenience foods continue to be encouraging,” said group CEO David Dilger.

“Despite an inflationary raw material and labour cost environment and the negative impact of the fire at Manton Wood, we expect to deliver good progress in convenience foods this year and believe the division is well positioned for further growth.”

Meanwhile, operating profit from continuing operations in its ingredients, agribusiness and related property division rose 305% to E8.2m (£5.5m) on sales up 19.5% to E155m (£105m), helped by a strong recovery in its malt business.

“As our businesses continue to progress, we are confident that Greencore will deliver a strong performance for the full-year,” added Dilger.