Greencore: we are not for sale says chief exec

SANDWICH and chilled foods maker Greencore posted a net half-year loss yesterday as costs from its failed merger with Northern Foods wiped out gains from a steady sales rise.

The Irish group booked a €13.4m (£11.7m) charge for its bid to merge with Northern Foods, a convenience food specialist that was prised out of its hands by chicken tycoon Ranjit Singh Boparan in January. Revenues rose 7.9 per cent in the six months to the end of March, giving the firm a pre-tax profit of €2.4m – a fall of more than 76 per cent on the same period last year, and a sum that is more than wiped out by tax bills.

Greencore said it would continue to expand, but “does not feel compelled to do a transaction at this stage”.

Chief financial officer Andy Williams dismissed reports that Greencore had asked private equity players to examine a sale of the firm, telling City A.M.: “I can categorically confirm that the business is not for sale.