Greencore says business holding up well as coronavirus crisis hits
Company says it is too early to predict final impact on 2020 results
Greencore’s Patrick Coveney: “The health and safety of our colleagues, customers and business partners is paramount.” Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill
Food group Greencore said its volumes were continuing to hold up well as the coronavirus crisis continued, but warned it was too early to predict the impact on 2020 results.
The group said its current trading for the year was broadly in line with expectations, with its supply chain and production network fully operational. However, the past 10 days had seen a more pronounced impact on the UK food industry from Covid-19, Greencore said, with its chief market the grocery sector also feeling the impact.
“Currently, from a demand perspective, group volumes are holding up well, albeit there is a pronounced change in mix across different parts of the product portfolio and across customers’ store formats,” the group said in an update to the market.
However, it noted the level of uncertainty in the market meant it was too early to predict the impact of the outbreak on its results for 2020.
“We have three priorities as we lead our group through the Covid-19 pandemic – keeping our colleagues safe, feeding the UK and protecting our business,” said Patrick Coveney, chief executive of Greencore.
“The health and safety of our colleagues, customers and business partners is paramount. We are closely monitoring all aspects of our business, and are confident that we have the team, customer partnerships and protocols in place to maintain food supply through this uncertain period.”
Greencore said its cash generation was in line with plans, with the group retaining “substantial financial headroom”.
The board would continue to monitor performance in a rapidly changing trading environment, and would provide further updates when appropriate.