Food group Greencore has reported half year revenues of £572.9m sterling, up 0.9% on the same time last year.

Group operating profits for the six months to the end of March rose by 6.3% to £33.7m, while earnings per share rose by almost 11%.

Greencore said that revenues at its convenience foods division increased by 1.8% to £542.1m while operating profits at the division grew by 4.7% to £32.1m.

The company said that the UK retail environment remains under ''severe pressure'' and the situation was made worse by the horsemeat scandal in the second quarter. This hit sales of ready meals.

''Although we expect market conditions to remain tough, we remain confident in our ability to deliver adjusted EPS growth for the financial year in line with expectations,'' commented Greencore's chief executive Patrick Coveney.

Mr Coveney said the horsemeat scandal had cost the group £5-£6m of revenue in the first half of the year.

It was a significant problem, he said, but was limited to small part of the group.

Speaking on Morning Ireland, he said group earnings per share were 11% higher in the first six months of the year and that the rest of the economic model of the business was working very well.

On horsemeat, he said he was ''very confident that there's absolutely no contamination within our food chain''.

"There is always a moderate level of risk, but we would be very comfortable and can reassure our customers and our consumers that our supply chain in the end was proven to contain no horsemeat whatsoever,'' the Greencore CEO said.

Mr Coveney also said that revenues for the US are up 120% and it now represents 15% of the group.