Greencore reported third quarter growth in its convenience division

Greencore reported third quarter growth in its convenience division

Greencore said today (12 July) that the "momentum" of its convenience food business continued in the company's third quarter, with sales up 9%.

The Irish food group, which also announced a GBP113m (US$178.7m) takeover bid for UK rival Uniq today, said underlying sales for the three months to 1 July were up 11%.

The result was booked on a constant-currency basis and excluding the extra week in the company's current financial year, which is 53 weeks long.

Greencore's revenue was helped by a 9% increase in sales from its convenience food division. In May, Greencore said sales from continuing operations from that part of the business, when excluding the impact of foreign exchange, had risen 4.3% during the first half of its financial year.

The company said its convenience food arm had put in a "strong performance" during the third quarter. It pointed to "buoyant underlying demand" during April and May due to good weather and the timing of public holidays.

Greencore also cited the year-on-year impact of new customer contracts, a return to revenue growth from its grocery business and "good sales growth" in the US. The company said three percentage points of the revenue growth from its convenience food business had come from On A Roll, which it acquired in December.

Meanwhile, Greencore's ingredients and property arm, which accounts for under 10% of the company, saw its third-quarter sales climb 24% on a constant-currency basis and when the 53rd week was taken out of the results.

Greencore said the increase in sales was due to the "impact of commodity price movements and strong underlying demand".

Looking ahead to the final quarter, Greencore said it expects trading in its "core" UK convenience food market to remain "challenging and volatile".

However, it said that the board expects to report full-year adjusted earnings per share in line with market expectations, if the euro to sterling exchange rate remains in the range of 0.85-0.87.