Greencore group revenue was up 3%

Greencore group revenue was up 3%

Convenience food group Greencore has booked an increase in full-year earnings and said it enters the new year with "good momentum".

In the 12-month period ended 27 September, profit before tax reached EUR61.6m (US$83.4m), an 11.8% increase on the prior year. Operating profit climbed 8.1% to EUR76.5m.

Chief executive Patrick Coveney said the results were achieved despite a "weak UK consumer environment, limited growth in retail food markets, persistent input cost inflation and the negative impact of the horsemeat scandal".

The company booked an operating margin of 6.4%, a 30 basis point increase on 2012. The improvement in operating profit and margin was driven by tight financial management, including a focus on improvements in returns in lower margin businesses.

Group revenue was up 3% to GBP1.20bn with sales growth in Greencore's convenience foods division of 3.5% to GBP1.13bn. A "stronger" fourth quarter resulted in like-for-like revenue growth in the UK business of 0.2%.

In the US, reported revenues were more than 60% higher than last year as a result of the MarketFare and Schau acquisitions and the commencement of a multi-site, multi-year supply arrangement with Starbucks. The division has also now turned a profit, Greencore said.

"We enter the new financial year with good momentum in our businesses. We remain well positioned to deliver further progress in FY14 and beyond."

Click here to view the full earnings release and here to read an interview with CEO Patrick Coveney.