Cranswick surpasses expectations with 12% sales rise

British meat producer Cranswick has had a strong year with 12% revenue growth, higher than analysts expected.

Cranswick reported a 6% increase in profit before tax, year on year, as well as declining net debt which now stands at 17m. The company said the horsemeat scandal helped sales as consumers searched for locally produced meat. Similarly, sales of cooked premium meat products were up 16%.

Pig prices remained high throughout last year and the company noted higher input costs had an effect on overall operating profit, which fell from 5.7% last year to 5.4% this year. Operating profit was also reduced by a new pastry facility the company opened in Malton, North Yorkshire.

Nicola Mallard, Investec analyst said: Pig prices retreated in Q4 and have been more stable since (164p/kg currently) and the pastry facility is now through its start up phase. Hence, we expect a small margin recovery in FY15E.

Over the next 12 months, Reuters reported that Cranswick intends on concentrating on the food-on-the-go sector in the UK while opening new facilities in south east Asia.

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