Focus on British meats pays off for Cranswick as Asian sales increase

Alys Key
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Cows Being Milked At A Cheshire Dairy Farm
Demand for food from British farms has boosted Cranswick

Cranswick, one of the UK's largest food producers, reported growth in revenues and profits for 2016 this morning.

The company, which originated as a group of Yorkshire farmers producing pig feed, now owns several meat brands including Woodalls Charcuterie, Yorkshire Baker and Bodega Antipasti.

The figures

Revenue grew 22.5 per cent to £1.25bn, while adjusted pre-tax profit rose 17.2 per cent to £75.5m.

The final dividend payment for shareholders went up to 31p, from 25.9p last year.

Growth in overseas markets was particularly strong, with revenues up 49 per cent in the Far East.

This morning Cranswick Plc shares were up 1.32 per cent at 2862.15p

Why it's interesting

Appetite for high-quality British meat shows no signs of dissipating, with a big increase of demand in Asian markets. Last year, Cranswick offloaded its sandwich business The Sandwich Factory for £15m to Greencore in order to focus on its meat business. It also acquired Northern Irish company Dunbia's Dunbia Ballymena pork plant, and is upgrading or building facilities in Norfolk and Lancashire.

This comes as the Co-op promises all frozen meat in its stores will be from the UK, after the supermarket's research found that nine in 10 shoppers wanted shops to sell more food from British farms.

What Cranswick said

Adam Couch, Cranswick’s CEO commented: “We enter the new financial year in excellent shape having added to our asset base, enhanced market positions and successfully integrated our two strategically important acquisitions during the last twelve months. We have further strengthened the solid foundations of our business and we believe we are well placed to continue to deliver sustainable organic growth going forward.”

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