US sales more than doubled to £881M for the year ended September 29 2017, while UK convenience foods sales rose 14.3% to £1.4bn.
Greencore’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and Amortisation grew 37.1% to £189.7M, while its adjusted operating profit was up 37.4% to £140.1M.
Chief operating officer Eoin Tonge told FoodManufacture.co.uk that the company’s results were just ahead of its expectations for the year.
“When you look overall and take a stand back from a financial health perspective, Greencore is in very good shape,” he said. “The acquisition [of Peacock Foods] in the US has further strengthened Greencore and diversified our portfolio as well.”
‘Further strengthened Greencore’
“Our US operations have really been transformed with the acquisition, with performance of the acquired business largely in line with expectations.”
In November last year, ceo Patrick Coveney said the acquisition would transform the firm’s US business by strengthening its position in high growth categories, while broadening channel and customer exposure.
Greencore’s purchase of Peacock Foods had boosted its sales by 77% in its third-quarter trading update. Peacock was said to have a strong position in the frozen breakfast sandwiches, children’s chilled meals and salad kits categories.
Tonge said the company would now focus on consolidating its recently acquired US business.
“It’s about how we leverage what we’ve currently got,” said Tonge. “We’ve got great customer relationships now over there [the US] and it’s starting to look like where we are in the UK, where we supply all the big names.
“We’re not focusing on acquisitions at this point in time, but if they do come up, we’ll be selective in looking at them.”
Patrick Coveney said the acquisition, as well as significant investments in the UK, had helped to reshape the business.
‘Not been without its challenges’
“While we have delivered good financial and operating progress in the year, the transformation has not been without its challenges,” said Coveney.
“However, we are confident that our strategy, portfolio, business model and momentum positions Greencore well to drive profitability, cash flows and returns in the 2018 full-year and beyond.”
Greencore predicted continued sales and profit growth for its 2018 full-year results, driven by organic growth in the UK and US.
Tonge added: “The marketplace continues to be competitive at the retailer level, so everyone is competing hard.”
“It hasn’t been without challenges. It’s been a good, tough year to work through, but we feel we exited the year in a good place in the UK.”
Meanwhile, Tonge confirmed Greencore’s strategic review was still underway, with a view to prioritise manufacturing roles and operations within the business.