Greencore sees chilled food recovery following horsemeat scandal

Greencore’s chilled ready meal sector is “showing signs of recovery”, after the horsemeat scandal and poor weather dented its UK revenue by 1.3%.

“Market conditions in the UK remained tough during Q3 with continued poor weather affecting the business for much of the period. The overall chilled ready meals market is gradually recovering from the impact of the horsemeat scandal earlier in the year,” it said in a statement.

In order to counteract the poor performance and return some stability, the own-label food manufacturer revealed it had “continued” to focus on operating efficiency and control costs across the UK.

Figures from the company’s overall third-quarter (Q3) trading statement also showed revenue for the 13 weeks to 28 June 2013 was 2.6% higher than last year and stood at £305.8m. Its convenience food sector yielded positive results, with revenue rising by 2.8% on last year to £285.7m.

Year-to-date trading figures showed Greencore’s recorded revenue to be £878.7m, which was 1.5% higher than the previous year and its financial position was claimed to be operating with “good headroom”  and within “existing debt facilities”.

Looking ahead to Q4, Greencore said it expected the market to remain tight and said: “While recent UK macro-economic data has been more positive and the weather has been more favourable, we still expect conditions to remain challenging.”

On a lighter note, it added that the group was “strategically well positioned” and had a balanced customer portfolio, with exposure to faster-growing convenience categories.

It said: “We remain confident in our ability to deliver growth in adjusted earnings per share for the financial year in line with expectations.”


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