Cranswick ‘well-prepared’ for EU Exit as financial outlook improves again

Cranswick said it was ‘well prepared’ for EU Exit and is working closely with suppliers to manage the risk, as it delivered yet another upbeat financial update.

In an update on trading for the 13 weeks to December 26, the integrated pork and poultry processor said the strong revenue and earnings momentum delivered during the first half of the financial year

Cranswick said it was ‘well prepared’ for EU Exit and is working closely with suppliers to manage the risk, as it delivered yet another upbeat financial update.

In an update on trading for the 13 weeks to December 26, the integrated pork and poultry processor said the strong revenue and earnings momentum delivered during the first half of the financial year continued during the third quarter. As a result, its outlook for the current financial year is now expected to be ahead of the Board’s previous expectations.

In November, Cranswick said a combination of increased retail sales during lockdown and soaring Far East exports have driven a further 31% increase in profit to £60.7m in the first half of the current financial year.

UK retail demand remained strong during the third quarter, reflecting the continued shift towards greater in-home consumption resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, while performance over the festive trading period was ‘robust’ and ahead of the same period in 2019.

The UK pig price continued to ease during the period, ending the quarter 9% lower than at the same stage last year and Cranswick said this downward trend was being reflected in selling prices.

Far East export sales were, as anticipated, lower than the same quarter last year due to a greater proportion of output being directed to UK retail customers, but also to the temporary self-suspension of Cranswick’s China export licences for its Northern Ireland and Norfolk primary processing facilities due to COVID-19 outbreaks. The licence for the Northern Ireland facility was reinstated on November 23 and exports are expected to resume from the Norfolk plant in the coming weeks.

With Brexit disruption very much in the headlines, the latest statement added that ‘thorough planning’ ensured the company was well prepared for the UK’s exit from the EU on December 31, 2020.

“We worked closely with suppliers and customers to proactively manage supply chain risks and had developed and successfully implemented mitigating action plans to minimise Brexit related costs and supply chain disruption,” Cranswick said.

“We are providing ongoing support to colleagues in obtaining UK settled status and we are recruiting more permanent team members.”

Despite all the issues surrounding the industry at present, Cranswick painted a positive outlook. “For the remainder of the current financial year the shift towards greater in-home consumption with resulting high demand for our products is expected to continue,” it said.

Adam Couch

Adam Couch

Cranswick CEO Adam Couch, said: “The safety and wellbeing of our colleagues remains our priority.

“We have delivered another strong quarter of growth during which we have supported our customers by delivering excellent service levels to ensure full availability of our products both in store and on the fast-growing online channel.

“None of this would have been possible without the incredible support of our colleagues across the business and on behalf of the Board I thank them for their continued commitment and dedication.

“Our outlook for the current financial year is now expected to be ahead of our previous expectations. Our continued positive progress reflects the substantial ongoing investment in our asset base and the quality and capability of our colleagues.”

The Company will announce its preliminary results for the year on May 18.

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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.