Convenience food group Greencore said its first quarter revenue increased by 24.4% to £389m on the back of strong growth in food to go categories and despite some limited impact on demand from the emergence of the Omicron Covid-19 variant in December.

In a trading update for the 13 weeks to December 24, Greencore said revenues were 7.5% above equivalent pre-Covid levels in the first quarter of 2019.

It noted that pro forma revenue in food to go categories increased by 34.9% year on year and was 6.1% above equivalent pre-Covid levels in 2019.

Pro forma revenue growth in other convenience categories was 13.1% year on year and 10.3% above equivalent pre-Covid levels in 2019, it added.

Greencore said that it continued to progress well with the recovery of input cost and other inflation with customers, but added that the pace of profit conversion continued to be impacted by industry wide supply chain and labour challenges.

It also noted that supply chain and labour challenges remain elevated across the UK food industry, exacerbated by the impact of the Omicron Covid-19 variant

In November, the company said that Patrick Coveney would step down as CEO in March, to become Group CEO of SSP Group, an operator of food and beverage outlets in travel locations including Upper Crust.

The company said today that the search process to appoint a new CEO is ongoing and an update on the appointment will be provided in "due course".

Greencore also today announced a new share ownership scheme and colleague wellbeing centre.

Under the share ownership scheme, the business has given almost 12,000 workers about £250 worth of Greencore shares each.

The cost of these shares, to be held for three years, is being covered entirely by Greencore, giving colleagues a free opportunity to become shareholders in the company.

The colleague wellbeing centre, which went live earlier this month, is a free online portal for Greencore colleagues to access health and wellbeing support.

It comprises videos, factsheets, menus, FAQs and many other materials to support colleagues in achieving a healthy, balanced lifestyle.