Greencore to provide update on business after US exit

For your diary: Results from Apple, Boeing, and Facebook as CSO measures our wealth

Greencore chief executive Patrick Coveney has promised a more streamlined approach to the business.

Greencore chief executive Patrick Coveney has promised a more streamlined approach to the business.

 

TODAY

Results: Amgen, Sprint.

Meetings: EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier gives William J Clinton speech titled Reflections on Brexit and the European Union, at Queens University, Belfast.

TOMORROW

Results: Allergan, Apple, Greencore (Q1), Lear, Mondelez, Pfizer, SAP, Starbucks, Stryker, Tesla, United Drug (trading update), Xerox, Xilinx.

Indicators: Irish retail sales (Dec) and overseas travel (December).

Meetings: Eir business breakfast, Greencore agm, Launch of DCU report of the economic impact of venture capital in Ireland.

Convenience food giant Greencore will deliver a trading update and hold its annual general meeting tomorrow, a year after the sale of its US business. The surprise move to exit the US, announced at the end of 2018, represented a major U-turn for the UK’s largest sandwich maker, which had earlier announced big plans for its US business following the high-profile acquisition of Illinois-based Peacock Foods.

Overcapacity problems at Greencore’s legacy business in the US – prior to the Peacock deal – had, however, hit its bottom line, triggering a profit warning and a slump in its share price.

At the end of 2018, it surprised investors and markets by ditching a restructuring plan and announcing the sale of the entire US business to American snacks company Hearthside Food Solutions for just under $1.1 billion (€935 million). Since then, chief executive Patrick Coveney has promised a more streamlined approach centred on consolidating its lead position in the UK convenience market. Mr Coveney is himself facing a potential investor backlash over his generous pension entitlement at the agm. Proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services has urged shareholders to vote against the €315,000 pension award, which equates to 35 per cent of Mr Coveney’s salary.

Analysts expect Greencore to post muted growth, benefiting from the recent acquisition of UK food-to-go firm Freshtime. However, they say Q1 is the least significant quarter with “the overall shape of the year likely to be H2 weighted”.

WEDNESDAY

Results: Amazon, Boeing, Facebook, General Electric, Ingersoll Rand, Mastercard, Microsoft, PayPal, Raytheon, Stanley Black & Decker, Wizz Air.

Indicators: Irish statistics of Port Traffic (Q3); UK house prices (Jan).

THURSDAY

Results: Alexion Pharma, Amazon, Biogen, BT, Coca-Cola, Diageo, Edwards Lifesciences, Eli Lilly, Electronic Arts, General Electric, Hershey, International Paper, Marsh & McLennan, Siemens, Virgin Money UK, Unilever, UPS, Verizon.

Indicators: Irish CSO Household Finance and Consumption Survey (2018), Euro zone unemployment (Dec); UK mortgage approvals (Dec).

Meetings: Ibec pre-election debate with political party spokespeople; Joint ESRI/Dept of Finance conference on trends in SME investment.

The rate of home ownership in Ireland – once one of the EU’s highest – has reached a 50-year low of 68 per cent, a byproduct of soaring prices and constrained supply. The proportion was 80 per cent as recently as 1990. The Central Statistics Office is publishing its household finance and consumption survey on Thursday, which will detail the financial status of Irish households, including the level of home ownership nationally. The survey will drill down into the financial position of Irish households, 10 years on from the crash, their debt levels and relative wealth compared to European households.

Irish households are, on paper at least, richer than at any other time in the history of the State with the net worth of Irish households put at around €772 billion. This equates to €158,986 per person or roughly €444,000 per household.

Net worth is, however, considered something of a crude measure of prosperity as it hides the distribution of household assets and liabilities across income groups and age categories.

FRIDAY

Results: Aon, Britvic (trading update), Caterpillar, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Phillips 66, TSB Bank.

Indicators: Milk statistics (Dec), Euro zone inflation (January) and GDP (January).

Meetings: Joint ESRI/Department of Finance conference on trends in SME investment and financing; Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald address on Ireland and the EU after Brexit at the Institute of International and European Affairs; Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland’s Film, TV and Animation slate of productions for 2020

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