Greencore says business "stabilised" but remains off dividend list

(Alliance News) - Greencore Group PLC on Tuesday said it has "stabilised the business" and made ...

Alliance News 28 November, 2023 | 11:39AM
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(Alliance News) - Greencore Group PLC on Tuesday said it has "stabilised the business" and made strategic progress, growing both profit and revenue in its recent financial year, though it paid no dividend for the fourth year in a row.

The Dublin-based maker of package sandwiches and other convenience food reported pretax profit of GBP45.2 million in the financial year that ended September 29, up 14% from GBP39.8 million the year before, as revenue grew by 10% to GBP1.91 billion from GBP1.74 billion.

On a pro forma basis, revenue grew by 14%, Greencore said. Adjusted operating profit was GBP76.3 million, up 5.7% from GBP72.2 million.

Looking ahead to financial 2024, Greencore said it is confident that financial results will be in the range of current market expectations. These call for adjusted operating profit of GBP80.0 million to GBP84.5 million on sales of GBP1.88 billion to GBP2.04 billion.

Greencore declared no dividend, unchanged from the year before. It last paid 6.20 pence per share for financial 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic, which badly hurt the travel food sector.

However, Greencore noted that it has returned GBP30.1 million to shareholders in the recent financial year by means of share buybacks, and it said it will continue the buyback programme to complete its commitment of a GBP50 million value return.

Net debt excluding lease liabilities was GBP154.0 million on September 29, down by GBP26.0 million from a year earlier.

"In a challenging market environment, we have stabilised the business, and made good strategic progress," said Chief Executive Officer Dalton Philips. "The group delivered above-market volume growth, despite exiting a number of low margin contracts. We also successfully mitigated and recovered the majority of our input cost inflation through effective operational and commercial initiatives."

Greencore noted it made 779 million sandwiches and other food-to-go products in financial 2023, as well as 132 million chilled ready meals and 45 million chilled soups and sauces.

Greencore shares were down 5.8% to 95.60p in London on Tuesday. However, they remain up 33% over the past 12 months.

By Tom Waite, Alliance News editor

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
Greencore Group PLC 99.75 GBX -1.72 -

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