Shares in private-label food group Greencore rose in early trading this morning (25 November) as the Ireland-based firm posted a jump in underlying annual profits.
On a constant-currency basis, Greencore reported a 7.9% rise in operating profit from its continuing businesses.
Operating profit stood at EUR72.9m (US$109.6m) for the year to 25 September and came despite a 0.8% dip in annual sales to EUR1.1bn.
However, the strength of the euro meant that, on a reported basis, operating profit was down 3.9%.
Greencore said consumers were starting to return to convenience categories like sandwiches after demand had dropped off in the first quarter of fiscal 2009.
Sales from Greencore’s convenience food business climbed 2.2% on a constant-currency basis to EUR794.4m. Underlying operating profit from the division rose 14.1% at constant currencies.
Greencore also booked adjusted earnings per share of 17.4 cents, which was in line with its previous fiscal year.
The company’s shares rose by more than 2% but softened slightly to be 0.72% up at EUR1.40 at 10:08 GMT.
Click here for the complete annual earnings statement from Greencore and check back later for comment from the company’s conference call with analysts.