Yorkshire Pudding maker Greencore plans to build back volumes as social restrictions ease

YORKSHIRE Pudding maker Greencore today said it was positioned for growth when the pandemic eases.

Greencore is a major supplier of Yorkshire Puddings.

Greencore Group plc, which is a major manufacturer of convenience food in the UK, today issuued its interim results for the 26 weeks ending 27 March 2020 and an update on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company said it delivered a comprehensive and rapid response to COVID-19 by keeping its people safe, feeding the UK, and protecting its business. It said the focus is now turning to building back Greencore volumes as social restriction measures are eased.

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The company said its reported revenue growth of 1.6% and pro forma revenue growth of 0.1%, has been impacted by effect of COVID-19 on food to go categories at the end of the period.

Over the period, the company delivered an adjusted operating profit of £38.3m and Adjusted EPS of 5.8 pence.

The statement added: "As announced on 30 March 2020, the group will not be proceeding with an interim FY20 dividend payment and today announces that it will not be proceeding with either a final FY20 or an interim FY21 dividend payment."

Patrick Coveney, Chief Executive Officer, said: “I am hugely proud of the way in which our people have responded to the extraordinary challenges of COVID-19, and take this opportunity to publicly thank them for their role in keeping the UK fed over the last two months.

"We have implemented a broad range of actions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on our business and to position us for growth as the pandemic eases. More than ever before, our deep customer relationships, leadership positions in key food categories, well invested network, flexible model, and outstanding people are key strengths that ensure we trade our way resiliently through this uncertain period."

Commenting on outlook, the company said: "Whilst COVID-19 is clearly impacting Greencore’s performance in the short-term, the group has taken a comprehensive set of actions to ensure that it is strongly positioned to build back the business as social restriction measures are eased.

"Greencore’s medium-term strategic ambition remains focused on optimising its growth potential in UK convenience food markets, supported by disciplined strategic investment.

"The group’s confidence in achieving this ambition is underpinned by its fundamental strengths; deep customer relationships, leadership positions across attractive food to go categories, a well invested and highly flexible network, an experienced and ambitious team, a comprehensive capability set and a positive resilient culture.

The statement added: "The group is in close dialogue with customers on how to optimise its operating model to respond to evolving demand requirements, and the group’s commercial teams are exploring what future shopping trends and buying behaviours are expected to look like as the situation develops.

"The group has demonstrated its agility and flexibility in responding positively to the immediate challenges of COVID-19 and expects to be able to deploy this agility again with customers as the pandemic eases.

"Given the ongoing level of uncertainty around the possible duration and impact of COVID-19, the group’s financial guidance for FY20 was suspended on 30 March and the group’s outlook for FY20 included in the FY19 full year results Statement and FY20 Q1 trading update should no longer be considered current."

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