Sushi, salad and sandwich maker Greencore reported better-than-expected full-year profits after winning several new contracts in the UK food to go market and expanding its presence in the US.
The food producer, which supplies retailers and supermarkets ranging from Marks & Spencer to Boots, said pre-tax profits increased by 33.8 per cent to to £59.4m in the year to 25 September on revenues up 5.2 per cent to £1.34bn.
Sales in its UK food to go division, which accounts for more than 40 per cent of the business, rose by 8.9 per cent while its prepared meals business grew by 1.8 per cent as demand for its chilled ready meals helped offset a decline in quiche sales.
In the US, where it supplies coffee chains including Starbucks with sandwiches, revenues jumped by 28 per cent compared with the previous year. The company is planning to make its first foray on the west coast of the US after winning a contract in Washington state, with a new facility set to open near Seattle in the second half of the year.
Chief executive, Patrick Coveney, said: "Greencore has had another strong year and our clear food to go led strategy has continued to drive growth in both the UK and US markets.
"We increased our investment in major capacity and capability improvement projects during the year, in each case underpinned by long term customer relationships. Our strategy, momentum and pipeline of opportunities leave us well placed to deliver further progress in 2016 and beyond."