Meat producer Cranswick posts very healthy results

  • Cranswick’s sales increased to £1.25bn in the six months ending 23 September 
  • Turnover was boosted by price and volume growth across its core categories
  • The firm supplies major British supermarkets, such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s

Meat producer Cranswick has raised its annual guidance following a bumper half-year performance.

The Yorkshire-based firm expects its adjusted pre-tax profits for the year ending 30 March 2024 to be around the upper end of the £153.2million to £160.8million market consensus range.

It made the announcement alongside results showing turnover increased by 12.3 per cent to £1.25billion in the six months ending 23 September thanks to price rises and volume growth.

Tasty performance: Meat producer Cranswick revealed turnover increased by 12.3 per cent to £1.25billion in the six months ending 23 September

In the group’s largest division, convenience, revenue expanded by 13.9 per cent due to stronger demand for cooked meats and good weather in September boosting orders for olives, antipasti and halloumi in its Katsouris business.

Higher pork product sales further boosted trading as the declining size of Britain’s pig herd and production cutbacks by some independent producers lifted pig prices.

This was despite exports to China remaining weak and feed prices falling from the peaks in the aftermath of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Revenues from gourmet and poultry also rose, with the former jumping by double-digit percentage levels on the back of greater promotional activity and new product launches by its cooked bacon plant in Hull.

The robust results across all main categories, combined with investment in new automation schemes, helped Cranswick’s operating profits soar by 42.1 per cent to £90.8million.

Adam Crouch, chief executive of Cranswick, said: ‘Our relentless focus on quality, service, innovation, and managing our cost base through this extremely challenging inflationary cycle, allied to delivering exceptional customer service, has underpinned these results.’

Cranswick noted the ‘positive trading momentum’ had continued into the third quarter, buoyed by ‘resilient demand’ in its core UK pork and poultry segments.

Although it expressed caution regarding the broader market backdrop, the firm is confident of ‘another extremely busy’ Christmas trading period.

Analysts at Shore Capital said: ‘Economic uncertainty remains from a UK consumer perspective, but we believe Cranswick is now very in charge of its destiny, setting its own agenda and well-set to drive growth.’

Cranswick, which supplies some of Britain’s largest supermarkets, such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s, has invested over £600million since the 2016 financial year in bolstering its capacity and efficiency.

Among other plans, the group intends to spend £62million upgrading its primary processing facility near Hull and £23million redeveloping a manufacturing plant in Manchester that makes houmous.

Cranswick shares were 2.8 per cent up at £37.46 on late Tuesday afternoon, making them one of the top five risers on the FTSE 250 Index.