Greencore reaps record profits

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The Independent Online

Strong demand for animal feeds, fertilisers and agri-chemicals coupled with reduced interest costs helped Greencore, the Irish producer and supplier of primary foods to industrial and consumer markets, to record half-year profits.

Operating profit rose 7 per cent to Irpounds 22m (pounds 22.4m) in the half-year to March. Pre-tax profit rose 13 per cent to Irpounds 22m on an 8 per cent increase in turnover to Irpounds 211m.

Net interest costs declined 41 per cent to Irpounds 1.7m, reflecting the strong cash flow of the business.

Sales in the agri-business division improved by 14 per cent to Irpounds 81.5m, despite the significant squeeze on margins because of an increase in the cost of fertiliser raw materials. This was offset by increased demand. Operating profits moved up 23 per cent to Irpounds 5.9m.

In the sugar division, cost reductions and improved efficiency helped reduce the impact of a 1 per cent drop in sales to Irpounds 58.9m.

Final sugar production for the 1994/95 campaign of 213,000 tonnes was 6 per cent above a quota 200,200 tonnes.

Results for the group's third main business, which includes malt, flour and consumer foods, was boosted by a general recovery in the malt market and the first-time contribution from the Belgian malt business acquired in the second half of 1994.