Cranswick plc saw underlying sales volumes increase in the three months to December 31, 2014, with growth returning to the fresh pork market.
In a trading update released today (January 30), the abattoir operator and processor said its Christmas trade was strong, and fresh pork sales were up by 2% compared to the same three months in 2013. However, underlying revenues were down 3% as the company passed on lower input prices to the group’s customers.
Exports also continued to gain momentum, with sales to non-European markets up 38% compared to the same quarter last year.
The figures exluded the contribution from cooked poultry business Benson Park, which was acquired by Cranswick in late October 2014.
Net debt at Cranswick increased from £22 million to £57 million during the quarter, with the operating cash outflow following a similar pattern to previous years. Even allowing for the purchase of Benson Park, the debt figure was only £2 million higher than at the same point last year.
The group remains in a strong financial position, with committed, unsecured borrowing facilities of £120 million available to provide comfortable headroom going forward.