Greencore Group is to “refocus” its plant in Jacksonville, Florida, replacing frozen products with fresh.
The convenience food group revealed its plan in a statement to the London Stock Exchange this morning (24 August), which was intended to reassure investors following a fall in its share price.
The Dublin-headquartered plc said in the statement that “the integration of our US business is on track and we continue to be encouraged by the pipeline of commercial opportunities being explored with existing and new customers”.
Greencore – the UK’s biggest sandwich maker – acquired US-based convenience food group Peacock Foods in November last year for US$748m and said at the time that it planned to quadruple its US sales as a result.
Following the acquisition, Greencore is now a manufacturer of consumer packaged goods for many of the largest food brands in the US. The group also produces chilled and frozen food-to-go products for convenience retail and foodservice companies there.
But it said in its statement today that had been some “level of churn in the legacy retail part of the US business” and it had decided to “refocus its Jacksonville, Florida site on fresh product offerings and will withdraw from current frozen product production on that site”.
Greencore suggested the change is being managed “seamlessly” with the relevant customers and that the impact on profitability will be “minimal”.
Analyst Numis responded favourably to the news, suggesting the change in emphasis from frozen to fresh at the Jacksonville plant was “positive longer term”.
Greencore employs 16,000 people in 31 manufacturing facilities across the UK and the US. On average, it manufactures around 1.5bn sandwiches and 140m ready meals every year.