Cranswick profits to exceed expectations as Asian export boom continues

Cranswick’s profits during the current financial year are set to exceed expectations as the company continues to benefit from increased sales in Far East Asia to fill the African swine fever (ASF) gap.

In its third quarter trading statement, published today, the Hull-based pork and poultry processor said the group’s Adjusted Profit Before Tax for the year ending 31 March 2020 is now expected to be higher than current market forecasts.

Cranswick’s interim results in November 2019 reported a 3.6% rise in pre-tax profits to £47.6 million, in the six months ended September 30, 2019, helped significantly by a 65% rise in total export revenue, with Far East revenues having almost doubled. Cranswick described this as ‘a robust performance, n a competitive UK market’.

“That performance, and market backdrop, in the UK continued over the important Christmas trading period. Revenue growth was positive across each of the Group’s four product categories,” it said in its latest update.

“Export sales have continued to be exceptionally strong and the outlook remains positive. As stated in our interim results announcement, African Swine Fever has created opportunities for Far Eastern exports, assuming the UK remains ASF free. The UK industry remains on high alert with intensive biosecurity protocols in place.”

Since the company’s interim results, Cranswick has acquired outdoor pig producer Packington Pork, which it said materially increased its self-sufficiency in UK pigs processed, ‘securing direct control over a significant part of its supply chain for premium pigs and further reinforcing its commitment to developing a sustainable and traceable farm to fork operation’.

“Ongoing investment in the Group’s farming operations is a key component of Cranswick’s ‘Second Nature’ sustainability strategy which aims to create a unique, industry leading sustainability standard for the food industry,” the statement added.

The Board is confident that continued focus on the strengths of the Company, which include its long-standing customer relationships, breadth and quality of products, robust financial position and industry leading asset infrastructure, will support the further successful development of the Group over the longer term.”

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.