Dublin / IE. (gg) Greencore Group PLC, a leading manufacturer of convenience foods in the UK, issues a trading update for Q4-2020 and the full year ended 25 September 2020, ahead of the publication of its full year results on 24 November 2020.
- Resolute focus on three clear priorities – keeping our people safe, feeding the UK, and protecting our business
- Progressive improvement in revenue, Adjusted Ebitda and cash generation in Q4-2020, supported by continued increase in demand for food to go categories
- FY-2020 reported revenue of approximately GBP 1,265 million
- FY-2020 Adjusted Ebitda of approximately GBP 85 million, after charging in excess of GBP 10 million of non-recurring operating costs incurred by the Group in responding to the impact of Covid-19
- Net Debt (excluding lease liabilities) of approximately GBP 345 million at year end, with strong liquidity in place to support the business
- Production fully restored at the Northampton site by mid-September 2020
|Pro Forma Revenue Growth|
|Food to go categories||-53%||-28%||-22%|
|Other convenience food categories||+2%||+3%||+3%|
Commenting on the performance, Chief Executive Officer Patrick Coveney said: «The fourth quarter of our financial year has seen an ongoing improvement in demand for our products. I am hugely proud of the way that our people are supporting each other and our customers during this extraordinarily challenging period, and it is their hard work and dedication that is driving a resilient and improving trading performance. Our agile business model, the depth of our customer relationships and the strength of our product range has enabled us to already capitalise on new business opportunities that will help underpin the build back in Group revenue. We are realistic but also confident in our plans for FY-2021, and remain excited by Greencore‘s longer term prospects.»
For the full year, the Group anticipates a reported revenue outturn of approximately GBP 1,265 million. Revenue trends continued to recover through Q4-2020, with pro forma Group revenue for the quarter expected to be 19 percent below prior year levels; an improvement on the 36 percent reduction in Q3-2020.
Although UK consumer sentiment and broader economic activity remain both fragile and subdued, the Group has seen a progressive uplift in demand for food to go categories through Q4-2020 as the economy slowly reopened and as Greencore worked with its customers to tailor product ranges, formats and service models to this new environment. Underlying demand improved through the quarter, notwithstanding the decision to temporarily cease production at the Northampton site during August 2020 following the Covid-19 outbreak in the area and at the site. Production was restored fully at the site by the middle of September 2020.
Pro forma revenue growth in Q4-2020 for the Group’s other convenience categories is expected to be approximately 3 percent.
As anticipated, Adjusted Ebitda improved in the final quarter and the Group expects that for the full year, Adjusted Ebitda will be approximately GBP 85 million. This is after charging in excess of GBP 10 million of non-recurring Covid-19 related operating costs. These operating costs primarily comprise of front-line employee recognition payments, incremental costs relating to furloughed colleagues, costs incurred to reconfigure production areas and implement measures to ensure safe working and social distancing and are net of UK Government assistance under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
The Group expects Net Debt (excluding lease liabilities) at year end to be approximately GBP 345 million, reflecting an improvement in underlying cash generation in the final quarter as Adjusted Ebitda increased and as working capital started to benefit from increased volumes in the period. The Group retains strong liquidity, with total committed debt facilities of GBP 578 million and eligibility to access funding under the Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF). The associated issuer limit for Greencore under the CCFF is GBP 300 million, although the Group has not drawn under this facility. As previously announced, Greencore secured agreement with its bank lending syndicate and its Private Placement Note Holders to waive the Net Debt: Ebitda covenant condition for the September 2020 and March 2021 test periods.
Following a decisive response to the impact of Covid-19 in Q3-2020, the Board of Greencore is encouraged by the progress seen in the final quarter of FY-2020. While fully recognising the uncertainties that lie ahead, the Group is well placed to continue to build back the business in FY-2021.