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Greencore board agrees to 30pc pay cut

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Greencore CEO Patrick Coveney

Greencore CEO Patrick Coveney

Greencore CEO Patrick Coveney

The board of Greencore is taking a 30pc reduction in fees and salary for the next three months, as the coronavirus continues to affect the Irish and UK economies.

The UK-focused business has also suspended its financial guidance in respect of its year-end September, it said in a trading update. The group, led by Patrick Coveney has seen a "marked reduction" in demand for its food-to-go categories in the grocery sector since the UK government announced increased measures to combat the virus on March 24.

This has been partly offset by volume growth in the group's other convenience categories.

As well as the executive pay cut, the wider leadership team at Greencore is taking a voluntary reduction of 20pc of base salary for the three-month period. The company will defer a "substantial portion" of previously planned capital expenditure, and will not be proceeding with an interim dividend payment for this year.

It will avail of the UK government's job retention scheme for staff hit by the reduction in production.

The firm said it retains "substantial and increased financial headroom", with cash and undrawn committed bank facilities of around £265m (€298m) at March 27.

This includes a newly agreed additional £75m committed debt facility, which matures next March.

Irish Independent