Greencore’s sandwiches, cakes and quiches businesses have performed particularly well over the last year on the back of new products launches with a premium focus, it said last week.

Speaking after the supplier posted its annual results, group communications director Jonathan Grant-Nicholas told British Baker that Greencore’s convenience businesses had performed strongly in the year to 29 September.

"Quiches and sandwiches were helped by the good weather in the summer and we benefited from removing trans fats from our products early on (at the end of 2005)," he said.

The sandwiches business, with factories in Worksop, Bow and Park Royal (both in London), has benefited from developing alternative retail channels including petrol station forecourts and convenience stores. Sales to non-multiples grew by 26%.

Greencore’s cakes and desserts business based in Hull also performed well with strong sales of Christmas cakes and celebration cakes, said Grant-Nicholas. Sales of celebration cakes grew by 18% year on year.

"We have been driving sales with new product development in licensed cakes for children and premium chocolate cakes for adults," he said.

The installation of an automated chocolate cake line 18 months ago had helped, he said, although cakes are still decorated by hand.

Greencore saw profits in its Convenience Foods division, which accounts for 92% of its business, grow by 5.7% to E69m on turnover of E901m, which rose 8.3%.

The company posted operating margins of 7.7% despite a E5m increase in energy costs.