Profits at food giant Greencore are down 3% to €30.1m to the end of March, but the group has said it remains confident of positive results at the end of the full year.
The company recorded 4% overall like-for-like sales growth, with 6% in the convenience food division.
Price increases substantially offset the significant raw material inflation in the UK convenience food categories, although the time lag has impacted H1 results. This factor will be eliminated for the H2 results, explaining some of the company's confidence in the full year outlook.
Commenting on the results, Greencore Group Chief Executive, David Dilger, said: "The Group has made good progress in the first six months of the financial year and has capably dealt with the key cost challenges faced by the entire sector.
"Results for the second half of the financial year will reflect the benefit of the price increases and cost savings achieved to date.
"Furthermore, we have aggressively managed our debt programme and, as a consequence, the Group’s interest charge in the second half is expected to be significantly below the comparable figure of last year. Overall, the Group remains confident of a successful outcome for the full year."
Commenting on the interim results, Gavin Lyng of Goodbody Stockbrokers said: "The tone of the Interim statement is more confident than that of its peers in the UK. The attainment of the price increases equivalent to €17m per annum is a very significant achievement in our view given the competitive nature of the UK market."