Convenience food firm Greencore Group plc expects an adjusted operating profit of £74-76 million (€86-88 million) in its 2023 financial year, exceeding market expectations.
Group pro-forma revenue increased by 4%, year on year, in the fourth quarter, while group pro-forma revenue for the full year grew by 13%, the company noted in a trading update.
Estimated net debt, excluding lease liabilities, at the end of its 2023 financial year is expected to reach £155 million (€179.4 million), down from £180 million (€208.3 million) in 2022.
This reduction follows approximately £36 million (€41.7 million) in capital expenditure and the completion of an additional share buy-back, Greencore added.
The ratio of net debt to EBITDA, as defined by financing agreements, is projected to fall within the group’s medium-term target range of 1.0x to 1.5x.
Dalton Philips, chief executive officer of Greencore, said, “The Greencore team has delivered a strong second-half performance in what was a difficult seasonal comparative period and against the backdrop of inflation and a challenging consumer environment.
“We continue to drive operational improvements across the business, underpinned by our commitment to quality and customer service. While macroeconomic uncertainty remains, we are pleased with the expected FY23 outcome and are committed to driving an improved financial performance in the period ahead.”
Since the convenience food firm announced a recommencement of a value return to shareholders in May 2022, Greencore has returned £35 million (€40.5 million) thereto.
The company aims to return a further £15 million (€17.4 million) in due course, in the form of an additional share buy-back programme, and as part of its commitment to return £50 million (€57.9 million) to shareholders by May 2024.
It also completed the sale of Trilby Trading Limited on 29 September 2023, after receiving the approval of relevant antitrust authorities and meeting customary closing conditions.
Greencore will report its full-year results for the year ending 29 September 2023 on 28 November 2023.