Food-to-go drives 9.1% like-for-like sales growth at Greencore

Strong food-to-go sales have driven a 9.1% increase in like-for-like revenue at Greencore Group in the 13 weeks to 30 December 2016.

Including revenue from The Sandwich Factory business, acquired last summer, sales rose 17.1% year on year to £417.0m.

Sales from Greencore’s Convenience Foods division recorded a 16.4% increase in revenue. In the UK alone, division sales rose 13.9%, and were up 9.0% on a like-for-like basis after excluding revenue from The Sandwich Factory acquisition.

The company said performance had been driven by strong growth in its food-to-go business, which was benefiting from “robust category growth” and the roll-out of previously announced business wins.

Greencore reported that construction of its new facility in Northampton had been completed, and that commissioning of the facility was progressing well. The business is investing in capacity and capability at its Wisbech and Warrington ready meal facilities to support renewed contracts.

Reported revenue in Greencore’s US business was up 31.2%, and up 8.0% on a like-for-like basis after adjusting for currency.

Greencore completed its acquisition of US food business Peacock Foods on 30 December 2016, and said trading in the business was in line with expectations. It added that “integration and the related synergy delivery are on track, albeit the process is at an early stage”.

“The group continues to deliver strong revenue growth in both the UK and US, reflecting positive category growth and the roll-out of new business wins,” said Greencore in its trading statement.

“Inflation in raw material and packaging prices and labour costs are expected to increase for the remainder of the year, although we anticipate that the combination of supply chain, purchasing and pricing initiatives will mitigate these impacts.”

The business said it remained confident in delivering a full-year performance in line with market expectations.

Greencore also announced the appointment of former Peacock Foods chief executive Tom Sampson to its board as a non-executive director.

Sampson was CEO of Peacock Foods from 2013 to 2016 and, before that, spent 28 years at Kraft Foods, including 10 years as president of Kraft North American Food Service.

“We are delighted to welcome Tom to the board,” said Greencore chairman Gary Kennedy. “Tom brings a wealth of insight and relationships to the group, along with a deep US operating knowledge, which will be invaluable as we enter the next phase of the group’s development.”

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