The new owners of Hazlewood have pledged to turn the business into a "lean, mean, growth orientated machine" over the next 12 to 18 months. In an exclusive interview with The Grocer, David Dilger, chief executive of Greencore, which bought Hazlewood for £258m in January, said: "We have a massive job to do in creating the kind of focused, competitive international business that Hazlewood should, and will, be." He added: "The business was doing too many things. It was casting its resources too wide and we will considerably tighten the focus and concentrate where we have scale, market position and competitive advantage." Dilger said the sectors that were really attractive for Greencore were sandwiches, chilled pizza, chilled quiches, sauces and bakery. "Hazlewood has strong market positions in other segments but we will focus on those segments," he said. Greencore will amalgamate its existing operations with those of Hazlewood to create the necessary levels of scale and competitive advantage. While Greencore had "significant aspirations" to grow certain parts of its business in the main EU markets, Dilger said the focus would be on developing business in those categories where it was already strong. But he said the immediate priority was to "create a lean, mean, growth orientated machine in segments where we have real strength". {{NEWS }}