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Greencore sells molasses business, group revenue down 36pc amid ‘dramatic’ period

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Greencore’s Patrick Coveney

Greencore’s Patrick Coveney

Greencore’s Patrick Coveney

Greencore has sold its molasses business for £15.6m (€17m) to United Molasses Marketing.

The division is involved in importing and distributing animal feed across Ireland.

Proceeds from the sale will be used to further strengthen the group's balance sheet.

The Patrick Coveney-headed group reported a 36pc fall in group revenue on a pro forma basis to £240.6m for the three months to June 26, according to a trading update.

Its food-to-go business was particularly hard hit, down 52.5pc to £123.8m in the three month period, as large numbers of people worked from home due to Covid-19, leading to a change in eating habits.

Revenues have recovered “progressively” in this division, as restrictions on population movements have eased, Greencore said.

The company said Covid-19 has had “a dramatic and volatile impact on UK food consumption patterns in the period.”

Revenue in the group's other convenience food categories totalled £116.8m in quarter three, an increase of 1.8pc on a pro forma basis.

Despite the dramatic fall in revenue in its food-to-go business, Greencore said it delivered positive adjusted earnings for the quarter.

In the year to date, the group's reported revenue was £953.3m, a decrease of 12.4pc on the same period last year.

Commenting on the performance, Patrick Coveney, CEO of Greencore, said: “Our group has traded resiliently, with our deep customer relationships strengthened further, and we are encouraged to see a sustained improvement in demand and category mix.

We remain confident in the relevance and attractiveness of the food to go channels and categories that we serve. In addition, we are well positioned for new business opportunities and a return to growth as the pandemic subsides."

Online Editors