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Greencore shares break through 80p barrier

GREENCORE shares hit their highest level since May yesterday, as the company continued its strong run since leaving the Irish Stock Exchange for London.

The Santry-based company, which delisted from Dublin in January to seek greater investment and liquidity in London, broke through the 80 pence barrier for the first time in 10 months yesterday. The stock rose as high as 81.75p before closing up 0.31pc at 80p.

Shares in the ready meals maker are up more than two-thirds since moving to London on January 23.

Greencore opened on its first day of full trading in London at 52.5p and has risen by more than two-thirds since. It either gained or was flat on 28 of the 36 sessions since then.

Last week, UK retailer Morrisons said the convenience goods sector grew faster than the overall market rate at 4.6pc and Davy Stockbrokers' Aiden O'Donnell believes this trend will only boost the Irish company.

Supplier

"(Morrison's commentary) is particularly encouraging for Greencore, a key supplier to the convenience channel," he said.

Greencore held an analyst day at its newly acquired sandwich facility in Northampton and Mr O'Donnell believes the ready meals sector may be entering a period of renewed growth. "While lots of work lies ahead for Greencore -- turning around the desserts business, fixing or offloading the US business, reducing its debt and managing its pension liability -- investors and analysts will certainly have taken comfort from the fact that, operationally, the business is being run very efficiently.

"With the capacity rationalisation that has occurred in the space over the past 18 months, we may be at an inflection point for returns in this sector," he claimed.

Irish Independent