On-the-move Brits keep De La Rue and Greencore happy

Elizabeth Fournier
DAVID Miles must be De La Rue’s favourite member of the Bank of England’s MPC. Last week’s minutes showed Miles was the only member of the committee to vote for more quantitative easing – hardly encouraging for a firm that relies on money printing for a chunk of its income.

Unfortunately for De La Rue, Miles is a lone voice among nine. Despite contracts to churn out notes for more than 150 national currencies, its money printing profits were flat yesterday – and overall figures were only lifted by a 16 per cent rise in the division of the company that makes British passports. Still, while no more cash and evidence of Brits lining up to flee the country is hardly an upbeat economic outlook, perhaps bosses at the FTSE 250 firm know something that we (and even the MPC) don’t.

Blaming contract delays for the poor banknote performance, management reassured investors that the orders they’re waiting for will come flooding in during 2013.

LAST week, I resolved to (temporarily) give up convenience food. For the next five days I gazed hungrily at every City worker ducking into Starbucks for a caffeine fix or unwrapping an M&S sandwich on the street. Luckily for private-label food producer Greencore, the wider population’s appetite for grab-and-go meals is much less fickle – the Irish group has boosted profits by 37 per cent in a year, and yesterday announced a deal to supply Starbucks’ US chains. It’s an impressive turnaround for a group that has had to bounce back from a failed pursuit of Northern Foods – and one that’s been rewarded with a 44 per cent rise in the share price so far this year. Yesterday’s results may have been priced in, but there’s definitely scope for more than a quick sugar hit from this stock.

Elizabeth Fournier is news editor of City A.M. @ej_fournier