Greencore Group plc, now a leading international convenience food business, has posted strong interim results, despite what it calls a ‘difficult’ UK market.

Group revenue of £639.8m was up 3.2% (as reported) and up 3.9% on a like for like basis. Group operating profit was also up 7.8% to £40.1m.

Commenting on the results, Patrick Coveney, Chief Executive Officer, said the Group delivered good financial and strategic progress in the first half of the year.

“Our strategy of deepening our leadership, capability, capacity footprint and customer partnerships in the UK and US food to go markets continues to deliver growth, with like for like revenue in that part of our business up 8.7%.”

Coveney also said the Group has stepped up its capital investment programme in new sites, which will provide a solid platform for growth in the months and years ahead.

“We carry good momentum into the second half and remain confident in our ability to deliver adjusted EPS growth for the year in line with market expectations.”

UK market

Greencore said the UK grocery retail environment remains difficult with profound changes taking place amongst our customers, together with net price deflation.

However it said the business has continued to trade well despite these challenges given its focus on convenience offerings which continue to exhibit volume growth.

Looking forward it says notwithstanding a net deflationary environment and the level of change in the UK grocery market, the Group expects to deliver good revenue growth in the second half of 2015 and it remains confident in its ability to deliver adjusted earnings per share growth for the year in line with market expectations.