Cranswick heralds a year of record capital investment

Cranswick plc, one of the UK’s largest fresh food producers, has today announced a 22.4% jump in annual adjusted pretax profits, driven by growth across its product categories and exports to China.

The Hull-based company said total revenue rose to £1.5 billion for the year ended March 31, up 17.6 per cent on the previous year. Adjusted pretax profits rose to £92.4 million from £75.5m a year earlier.

The company’s total export revenue, of which a large share comes from its pork exports to China, surged 30.2% in the year, while its revenue from Far Eastern markets declined by 6.1%.

Adam Couch, Cranswick’s chief executive, said: “We have delivered a strong financial performance for the year and made further progress in delivering our strategy. We grew like-for-like revenue by 13% and increased adjusted profit before tax by 22%.

“We spent a record £59m across our already well invested asset base. This brings the total investment in our infrastructure over the last eight years to over £270m.”

Mr Couch added: “Over the last 12 months we have strengthened our asset base, enhanced market positions and developed new customer relationships. We continue to make good progress against each of our strategic objectives and we are well placed to continue our successful development in the current financial year and over the longer term.”

Fiona Cincotta, senior market analyst at City Index UK, said Cranswick has delivered the goods yet again, as Britain’s appetite for bacon and sausages shows little sign of abating.

She added: “What’s particularly pleasing about this result is the improvement in margins. Falling pig prices have helped, but the company is also starting to enjoy the fruits of its previous efficiency investments. Construction of the new continental products facility in Lancashire is already done and Cranswick has received planning approval for its new poultry operation, too.

“With Sainsbury’s bid for Asda potentially putting a squeeze on suppliers, Cranswick’s investment drive has proven extra timely.”

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