February 2, 2012


Cranswick's Q3 sales up



For the three months to December 31, Cranswick's sales increased by 10% on the same period last year, a "strong" third quarter sales performance as the company announced Monday (Jan 30).


The company said sales of bacon and fresh pork products were particularly strong, export sales were good and sales of pastry products continued to show "pleasing progress".


However, net debt increased from GBP48 million (US$76.1 million) to GBP59 million (US$93.5 million) during the quarter. A statement said: "The group is in a strong financial position, with committed, unsecured facilities of GBP100 million (US$158.5 million), which provide generous headroom going forward.


"The business has a well-invested asset base, loyal and skilled teams, a great range of products and a strong financial position. Good progress has been made following the challenges of the first half and the board looks forward positively to the rest of the year and the long-term development of Cranswick."


Shares in the company jumped 1.65% to GBP7.715 (US$12.23) as of 12.16 GMT.


Analysts have been impressed with the results. Damian McNeela at Panmure Gordon & Co gave it a "buy" rating and said: "Cranswick remains well placed to benefit from the ongoing switch by consumers into pork products, with further new product development supplementing this growth."


Darren Shirley at Shore Capital concurred. "In addition to the excellent revenue performance, we believe Cranswick had a strong operational performance though third quarter and the important Christmas period, supported by its industry leading manufacturing infrastructure," he said.