Greencore has reported a group revenue increase of 4.2%, to £1498.5 million, for its 2018 fiscal year, which it called a 'year of significant change' for the group.
Profit before tax at the group rose to £17.8 million, a jump of 12.7% on the previous year.
Adjusted Operating Profit growth of 1.7% in continuing operations, weighted to the second half of the year.
“We delivered good underlying growth in the UK, with favourable consumer and retailer trends helping drive our core food to go business,” Patrick Coveney, CEO, said.
“After the financial year-end, we took the decision to sell our US business having received a compelling offer for it. We will now focus all of our attention and resources on the significant growth opportunities that we see in the UK, both organic and inorganic.”
The group said that, following the sale of its US business which was completed on 25 November, it is committed to the prompt and efficient return of £509m of the transaction proceeds to shareholders.
It said that as a result of the sale, it has entered the 2019 fiscal year with a ‘stronger and leaner’ business in the UK, following the refinement of its portfolio and the implementation of its streamlining and efficiency programme.
Greencore anticipates continued underlying revenue growth in its key convenience food categories during the year, which in turn will drive its Adjusted Operating Profit growth.
It said that a strengthened balance sheet and strong underlying free cash generation leaves the Group well positioned to consider organic and inorganic investment consistent with its strategic and returns objectives
“Despite the short-term uncertainties of Brexit, our scale, depth, and expertise in attractive and structurally growing food categories mean that we are confident in the future growth prospects for Greencore,” Coveney added.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.