May 23, 2012
UK food producer Cranswick has revealed strong revenue increase after successfully recovering margins in the second half of the financial year.
Sales were boosted by good growth in bacon, fresh pork and sausages, which helped the company record its highest-ever full-year sales and the second-best trading profit in its history.
Analysts said the company had performed ahead of expectations, with a broadly spread sales growth and strong balance sheet in spite of significant on-going investment.
The audited preliminary results, for the year ending March 31, 2012, showed underlying sales ahead by 10%, with reported revenues up by 8%. Operating profit was down 5% at GBP46.7 million (US$73.6 million), with pre-tax profits up by 3% and net debt reduced up to GBP 21.7 million (US$34.2 million).
The company said that the increasing popularity of pork products had led to an increase in sales volumes, partly as a result of the competitive price of pork compared to most other proteins. Bacon sales increased by 39%, with fresh pork up 15% and sausage sales gaining 12%.
The early half of the year saw strong raw material price increases and "unprecedented resistance" by customers to raw material inflation recovery, but this eased towards the second half, and very successful Christmas trading helped margins to recover. Export sales were also buoyant in the third and fourth quarter, particularly to Far Eastern markets.
Cranswick focuses predominantly on the supply of fresh and processed food to the UK food retail market. Last year, the company's fresh pork processing plant in Preston site was accredited by the USDA.