Shares in FTSE 250-listed food producer Cranswick took a pounding this morning after it revealed its operating margin may decline next year.
Cranswick’s shares were trading down 15 per cent at 2,504p around midday, having fallen as low as 2,340p earlier in the day.
Cranswick also said its revenue was two per cent lower in the quarter to 31 December than in the same period last year.
The company said strong growth in poultry had been offset by “lower sales from other, pork related, categories”.
The UK pig price fell during the period, ending the quarter seven per cent lower than at the same stage last year – with the reduced price reflected in selling food prices.
Cranswick said it expects its operating margin to decline in next financial year reflecting a “potentially challenging commercial landscape” as well as the costs of its new poultry processing facility in Eye, Suffolk.
According to broker Liberum, reduced pork prices were partially a function of Cranswick’s main competitor Tulip driving prices down as it competes aggressively to win market share.
Cranswick said: “Notwithstanding these short-term challenges, our new Eye and existing added value, poultry facilities and our broadening customer base, provide a solid platform to further develop our poultry business and drive future growth in this attractive and expanding protein category.”