Cranswick reports profitable H1

Cranswick has benefited from falling pork prices, contributing to a successful first half of 2014.

The pork processor reported half-year profits of £25.8m, up 11.4%, while total revenues stood at £481.5m for the six months ending 30 September 2014.

The company recently acquired poultry firm Benson Park, in line with it’s “growth strategy” to broaden its product range, highlighted in May this year. The acquisition was described by financial analyst Investec as a “good move”.

Meanwhile, low and falling pig prices helped improve margins for Cranswick’s pork business.

Martin Davey, Cranswick’s chairman, commented: “It is pleasing to report to shareholders that adjusted profit before tax for the six months increased 11.4% to £25.8m from £23.2m in the corresponding period last year. Earnings per share on the same basis rose 7.3% to 41.1 pence compared to 38.3 pence previously.

“Subsequent to the period end, the company acquired Benson Park, a Hull-based, leading producer of premium British cooked poultry, which serves the fast-growing food-to-go sector. This is an important acquisition for Cranswick in meeting the company’s stated strategic aim of broadening both the protein range and the customer base of the business.

“The interim dividend is being increased by 6% to 10.6 pence per share from 10 pence previously.

“With experienced management at all levels of the group, a strong and continually evolving range of products along with a robust financial position, the board remains confident in the continued long-term success and development of the business.”

Cranswick also reported that the extension of the Delico cooked meats facility in Milton Keynes was completed on time and to budget, while a significant upgrade to the Norfolk fresh pork site is nearing completion.

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