Monday 19 May 2014 8:26 pm

Cranswick’s sales lifted by high pork demand but margins suffer

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PORK specialist Cranswick beat expectations yesterday with full-year profits up six per cent to £52.2m, driven by increased consumer demand for British pork, but saw its margins squeezed by higher pig feed prices.

Revenues leapt 14 per cent to £994.9m after Cranswick launched new products including a range of premium pastries including pies, sausage rolls and quiches.

Despite the growth Cranswick’s profit margins fell to 5.4 per cent, from 5.7 per cent a year earlier, as the firm faced with higher costs.

“This has been a positive, albeit challenging, year for Cranswick,” said chairman Martin Davey. “The business had to contend with record input prices, the impact on its customer base of the changing dynamics of UK food retailing and an environment where the consumer has been subject to ongoing financial constraints.”

Cranswick also announced executive director Bernard Hoggarth will retire after the firm’s annual general meeting.

Cranswick’s shares fell 2.9 per cent to close at 1,173p yesterday on news of the results.