Cranswick results sizzle as Asia goes mad for British pork

Emma Haslett
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Cranswick said profits had jumped 22 per cent (Source: Getty)
ork producer Cranswick put in far from its wurst performance in the six months to the end of September, after it posted a 9.9 per cent rise in revenues.

The figures

It's been a sizzling summer for Cranswick, which said revenues jumped to £529.1m during the period, up from £481.5m during the same period last year.

Adjusted profits before tax increase 22 per cent to £31.5m, while earnings per share increase 25.3 per cent at 51.5p. Net debt fell 78.5 per cent to £4.8m.

That was pushed up by a 17 per cent rise in sales to the Far East - the company said it is now shipping 1,000 tonnes of its products each week to the region, which accounts for more than 50 per cent of all the pig meat exports from the UK.

Meanwhile, fresh pork sales grew 15 per cent during the period, despite fresh pork sales falling 10 per cent year on year in the UK. Sausage sales were five per cent higher.

Why it's interesting

It could have been a pig of a year for the company, which sells many of its products under supermarkets' upmarket own brands, such as Sainsbury's Taste the Difference and Tesco Finest. Those supermarkets may have been hit hard by discounters Aldi and Lidl - but it seems our appetite for posh sausages remains undiminished.

However, Cranswick's results don't take into account the period after late October, when the meat industry was rocked by a major report from the World Health Organisation (WHO), stating for every 50g portion of processed meat eaten daily, the risk of bowel cancer increases by 18 per cent.

However, those export figures suggest Cranswick can stay resilient.

What Cranswick said

Chief executive Martin Davey said:

The company continues to work closely with its customers and to maintain its focus on service, quality and innovation to deliver attractive, competitively priced products in market conditions that are expected to remain competitive through the second half of the year. This approach, allied to a broadening product portfolio and an anticipated strong Christmas trading period, means the business remains very well placed to deliver further growth in this financial year.

In short

Despite suffering supermarkets and the WHO report, it looks as thought 2015 will be another banger for Cranswick.

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