Greencore Group: Q1/2015 interim management statement

Dublin / IR. (gg) Greencore Group PLC, a leading international convenience food producer, issued its interim management statement for the period to 27 January 2015. Trading information relates to the 13 weeks to 26 December 2014 (Q1/2015). The Group recorded revenue of 331.9 million GBP, an increase of 3.6 percent on the prior year on a reported basis and 4.4 percent on a like for like basis.

Convenience Foods

The Convenience Foods division recorded revenue of 320.4 million GBP, 4.9 percent higher than the prior year on a reported basis and up 5.4 percent on a like for like basis. In the UK, like for like revenue was 3.6 percent higher than in the prior year. The overall grocery market remained challenging in Q1/2015 with negative same store volumes and price deflation. Against this backdrop, our key chilled markets performed well with continued good growth in the food to go market and a positive performance in the chilled ready meals market. During the period, the extension to the existing Northampton sandwich facility was successfully commissioned with further product transfers due to take place by the end of January. In the US, reported revenue was 34.1 percent higher than in the prior year and 19.5 percent higher on a like for like basis. This was driven principally by the continued roll-out of new products with a key customer. The construction of the new facility in Rhode Island is nearing completion, with commissioning due to commence as planned in Q2/2015.

Ingredients and Property

The Ingredients and Property division, which now represents less than five percent of Group activity, recorded revenues of 11.5 million GBP in Q1/2915, 3.4 million GBP (22.8 percent) lower than the prior year in reported currency and 16.8 percent lower on a constant currency basis. As expected, revenue was impacted by the reduction in the commodity price of edible oils.

Financial Position

The Group´s financial position remains strong with good headroom within existing debt facilities.

Outlook

The Group remains well placed with strong positions in growing product categories. Notwithstanding the challenges of the UK grocery retail market, the business has had a good start to the year with encouraging growth against a strong comparator period last year. The integration of new business in Jacksonville and the first expansion phase in Northampton are now close to completion. We remain confident in our ability to deliver performance in line with market expectations.