August 3, 2012


Cranswick experiences better sales


UK pork processor, Cranswick, experienced increased sales for the three months concluding at June 30 2012, with a rise of 7.4 % to GBP209 million (US$324 million).


The company said that during the period, all categories delivered robust growth and there were strong gains in sausage, bacon and continental products.


There were further modest increases in pig prices during the period, albeit they remain below the peak of last summer, the company said.


The impact has been absorbed through increased volumes and continued operating efficiencies.


As announced on July 2, 2012, Cranswick acquired the entire issued share capital of Kingston Foods Limited on June 29, 2012. Kingston is a producer of premium cooked and roasted meat product.


The acquisition of Kingston is expected to strengthen Cranswick's cooked meat production capabilities and further diversify its product range in a growing market and broadens the Group's customer base.


Net debt stood at GBP38 million (US$59 million) at the end of the quarter, compared to GBP22 million (US$34 million) at March 31, 2012. This increase reflects a seasonal uplift in working capital and cash spent on the acquisition of Kingston.


Net debt was, however, well below the GBP55 million (US$85.4 million) reported at the same time last year. The Group is in a sound financial position, with committed, unsecured facilities of GBP100 million (US$155.2 million) which provide generous headroom going forward.


As announced on May 21, 2012, Bernard Hoggarth stood down from his position as Chief Executive Officer at the Annual General Meeting this week. He will continue with Cranswick in the role of Commercial Director on a part time basis.


Adam Couch will succeed Hoggarth as Chief Executive.


Couch, who has been with the business for more than 20 years, was appointed to the board in 2003 and became Chief Operating Officer in May 2011 as part of the Board's strategy for succession planning.


The company said that with experienced management at all levels of the group, a strong range of products, a well invested asset base and a robust financial position, the board, whilst mindful of the continuing challenges facing the UK consumer, remains confident in the continued long term success and development of the business.