Greencore, the food-to-go group, has booked an increase in full-year sales and earnings thanks to “strong momentum” in the US and UK. 

The Ireland-based company said sales grew ahead of the market in both the US and UK, with revenue up 10.6% to GBP1.48bn (US$1.84bn). On a like-for-like basis, the group said sales increased 5.9% in the year to 30 September. 

“In the UK, we have delivered substantial like-for-like growth against the backdrop of a challenging retail market and an uncertain economic environment, and in the US we now have a business that is primed to deliver sustainable, profitable growth,” CEO Patrick Coveney said. 

A ten basis point improvement in operating margin also meant the group was able to report earnings expansion that outpaced it’s top line growth. Operating profit increased 11.2% to GBP102m. 

However, exceptional costs of GBP15.9m, including integration expenses, dented Greencore’s bottom line. Net earnings totalled GBP48.5m in the 12 months versus GBP59m last year. On an adjusted basis, fiscal 2016 earnings stood at GBP64.4m versus GBP62.4m in 2015. 

The company also announced today (14 November) the planned acquisition of US convenience food maker Peacock. Greencore said the deal would be “transformational” for its US business, increasing its scale and access to retail channels via co-manufacturing agreements.