Convenience food business Greencore has reported a significant boost in group operating profit in its latest financial results for the six-month period to the end of March 2024.

The half-year results show group operating profit of £25.3 million for H1 2024, compared to £3.6 million for the same period in 2023.

Pre-tax profit is reported as £16.9 million in total, versus £3.4 million the previous year.

Despite this rise in profit, Greencore saw group revenue decrease by 6.4% to £866.1 million in H1 2024.

The financial report stated:

“The decline was driven by the disposal of the Trilby Trading business in September 2023, accounting for a decrease of 4.6% and the proactive decision to exit a number of low returning contracts during FY23 [full year 2023], accounting for a further 5.9% decline.

“This was partially offset by the impact of inflation recovery and price totalling 2.9% and a 1.2% benefit from volume increases (a combination of underlying growth and price mix).”

The company has stated that the target is to return a further £50 million to shareholders over next 12 months, commencing with a share buyback of up to £30 million.

Furthermore, if the business continues to trade as expected, the board intends to declare a dividend for the year to September 2024.

Greencore outlook

Currently Greencore, which supplies many UK supermarkets, expects FY24 adjusted operating profit in a range of £86-88 million, ahead of current market expectations.

Chief executive officer, Dalton Philips said: “Greencore delivered excellent progress against its strategic priorities in the first half and continued to outperform the market in a difficult consumer spending environment.

Greencore CEO, Dalton Philips

“The group’s accelerating financial performance is very encouraging as we focus on driving profitability and returns.

“We are working with our major retail customers to develop new products and new offerings which are driving the growth of our ‘Food to Go’ segment ahead of the market.

“We have exited low margin business and are undertaking a range of actions to increase the returns profile of each element of the portfolio,” he added.

Philips explained that Greencore has many opportunities to continue to grow the business profitability and has started investing in I.T infrastructure.