Rising profits from its ingredients business has helped offset a tough year for Greencore's convenience foods business, the company has said.

Greencore booked a 22% jump in underlying operating profit to EUR91m (US$134.4m) for the year to 28 September, thanks to "strong" profit growth from its ingredients business.

The result helped alleviate a fall in earnings from its convenience foods business, which includes leading positions in categories like sandwiches and desserts.

Profits from that part of the business fell 7% to EUR64.4m, a performance that worsened during the second half of the year, when earnings tumbled 16%. Greencore blamed a wet summer and rising costs.

Falling convenience food sales during the second half also weighed on full-year revenue from the division, which rose 4% to EUR933.1m.

Chief executive David Dilger said: "Convenience Foods is central to group strategy and performance, and while we had a tough second half this year, due principally to external factors, our market positions and executional skills remain very strong.

"In common with the rest of the industry, we are working hard to offset the impact of high levels of raw material inflation. Progress in achieving price increases is encouraging."

On a group basis, turnover was up 7% to EUR1.2bn.

Greencore is Europe's largest sandwich manufacturer and is the UK's largest producer of customer branded mineral water.

Its ingredients business encompasses its malting operations in Ireland, the UK and Belgium, which makes malt for brewers and distillers.