Convenience food group Greencore has said it is suspending its full year financial guidance for 2020 and said its outlook for the year should no longer be considered current.

Greencore - the biggest sandwich maker in the UK - said it is playing "a systemically important role" in a reset food industry that has become a critical component of the UK infrastructure during Covid-19.

The company noted a marked reduction in demand for its food to go categories in grocery retail, which has been partly offset by the sustained volume growth in the group's other convenience categories. 

In a statement, Greencore said it taking "prudent measures" to protect its profitability and cashflow. 

It is tightening its food to go production network and furloughing impacted colleagues, using the UK government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. 

Greencore also said it is working to eliminate non-essential operating costs, adding that its board and executive directors have voluntarily agreed to take a 30% reduction in respective fees and base salary for a period of three months.

The company's wider group leadership team also taking a voluntary reduction of 20% of base salary for the same period. 

Greencore said these moves will be kept under review.

The company also said that it will defer a substantial portion of previously planned capital expenditure and will not be proceeding with its interim dividend payment. 

"Overall, the group retains substantial and increased financial headroom, with cash and undrawn committed bank facilities of approximately £265m at 27 March 2020. This includes a newly agreed additional £75m committed debt facility which matures in March 2021," Greencore said.