Greencore will not recover from Covid-19 impact until at least 2022, says CEO

Patrick Coveney, Greencore CEO

Sandwich company "absolutely smashed" by first Covid-19 lockdown in the UK, when food-to-go business fell by more than 50%

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25 November 2020 | 0

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Pre-packed sandwich producer Greencore was “absolutely smashed” by the first Covid-19 lockdown according to chief executive Patrick Coveney and as a result, will not recover until 2022 at the earliest.

Coveney made the comments as the business conducted a £90 million (€101 million) share placing in a bid to curtail the financial fallout from the pandemic.

He also revealed that revenue from Greencore’s food-to-go business had dropped by more than 50% at the peak of the first lockdown in the UK from April to June.

The Dublin-headquartered company subsequently closed four plants, placed 4,500 staff on the UK government’s furlough scheme, cancelled its annual dividend and imposed a 30% pay cut on senior staff, The Irish Times reports

At the end of September, the group’s net debt totalled £350 million.

Patrick Coveney, who is personally taking £400,000 of the new share issuance, said he had no intention of leaving the food group, and that the additional capital was necessary to protect the business.

“The additional £90 million gives us a lot more headroom for downside Covid scenarios,” he said, indicating that the move would enable the company to trade through a third, fourth and fifth lockdown if they arose.

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