November 16, 2011
Cranswick's pork demand up, profits down
Cranswick has disclosed a decrease in profits but demand for its products is rising because they are seen as good value.
Hull-based Cranswick reported a 22% fall in pre tax profits to GBP18.5 million (US$29.2 million) in the six months to September 30, despite rising sales, as it struggled to pass on higher pig prices to its customers.
But it said it was "cautiously optimistic" about the future because recent trading had improved and meat-eaters were increasingly turning to pork because it represents "good value and is healthier compared to other types of proteins". Sales were boosted by strong demand in the UK, with rising demand for "super-premium" sausages and bacon, and growing sales overseas, particularly China, where there is a market for off-cuts.
Cranswick, which supplies pig products for the Jamie Oliver brand as well as Sainsbury's and Tesco, said it expects its busiest-ever festive season, helped by new products and record demand for premium bacon products.
British pig farmers are under increasing pressure from overseas imports as the higher welfare standards required by law in the UK force costs higher than those of the cramped conditions in which pigs are reared overseas.
Legislation is due to come into effect in 2013, bringing EU welfare standards in line with those of the UK.