Cranswick reports a positive start to new financial year

Cranswick plc says its revenue in the three months to June 30 this year was 11% ahead of the same period in 2015, driven by strong volume growth.

Underlying revenue, excluding the firm’s poultry acquisitions and pig breeding operation, was 5% higher than April to June 2015, with corresponding volumes up 12%.

Export volumes to Far Eastern markets in the first quarter of 2016/17 were 60% ahead of the same period last year, reflecting both ongoing robust demand from the region and increased output from the Cranswick’s two primary processing facilities.

Despite spending £39 million to acquire Crown Chicken during the quarter, Cranswick’s net debt at the end of June was only £4 million more than three months earlier at £22 million. The company still has unsecured loan facilities of £120 million if required.

The company also announced it had sold its sandwich business, The Sandwich Factory Holdings Limited, to Greencore plc for £15 million cash. In the year to March 31, 2016, the sandwich business generated revenues of £54 million, but Cranswick chief executive Adam Couch said the sale was in line with the business’ strategy of focusing on its core protein businesses.

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