Information  X 
Enter a valid email address

Greencore Group PLC (GNC)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Thursday 10 February, 2005

Greencore Group PLC

AGM Statement

Greencore Group PLC
10 February 2005

                              GREENCORE GROUP PLC

                             ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING


At the Annual General Meeting of Greencore Group plc to be held today, the
Chairman, Ned Sullivan, will make the following statement:

2004 was another year of good progress for Greencore.  Profit before tax grew by
8% and adjusted earnings per share grew by 6%.  This growth was achieved in
spite of a time lag in recovering an unusually high level of raw material cost
increases in the convenience food categories, which reduced profitability by
some €5 million.

Net debt at the end of September 2004 was €387 million, €43 million below the
level of September 2003, and €49 million lower when the impact of currency
translation is excluded.  During the year, the Group continued to sharpen its
focus on its convenience food activities with the disposal of its loss-making
bread business, Rathbones, and its interest in its sugar distribution associate,
James Budgett.

The most notable event in the 2005 financial year to date has been the Group's
decision last month to consolidate all sugar production at its Mallow site and,
therefore, to close the Carlow manufacturing facility next month.  This was a
particularly difficult and painful decision, but, nonetheless, an unavoidable
one due to the significantly increased competition and impending regime reform
which Irish Sugar is facing.  The consolidation is essential to secure the
survival of the Irish sugar processing and, as a consequence, beet growing
industries for the benefit of all involved.

Trading in the year to date has been satisfactory.  The quality of the Group's
market leading positions, coupled with the ongoing growth in its convenience
food categories, a relentless focus on its cost base and the strong cash
generative nature of its portfolio have offset the challenging market conditions
which many of the Group's businesses are facing.  Looking forward, the Board
anticipates that 2005 will be another successful year for Greencore and is
confident about the future prospects of the Group.

E.F. Sullivan

10 February 2005

CONTACT:    Patrick Kennedy, Chief Financial Officer - Tel: +353 1 605 1003
            (Up to 3pm on 10 February 2005 - Tel: +353 87 225 3480)

            Billy Murphy/Trish Morrissey, Drury Communications - Tel: +353 1 260 5000

            Mark Garraway/Kate Pope, College Hill - Tel: +44 207 457 2020

                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange