Cranswick reveals “strong commercial and strategic progress”

Cranswick, a leading UK food producer, has today announced its unaudited results for the six months ending 30 September 2015.

“The business performed strongly during the first half of the year and recorded revenue slightly ahead of the board’s original expectations,” explained Martin Davey, Cranswick’s chairman.

“Alongside record first-half sales it is pleasing to report to shareholders that adjusted profit before tax for the period increased by 22% to £31.5 million from £25.8m in the corresponding period last year. Adjusted earnings per share rose 25.3% to 51.5p compared to 41.1p previously.”

He also claimed that the interim dividend was being increased by 9.4% to 11.6p per share, from a previous 10.6p.

Financial highlights for the six months included revenue being ahead by 9.9% at £529.1m, up from £481.5m last year. Underlying revenue increased 6.5%, whilst adjusted group operating margin saw a rise of 60 basis point to 6%.

Meanwhile, adjusted profit before tax, adjusted earnings per share and dividend per share also all increased.

Net debt was 78.5% lower than 2014, and statutory profit and statutory earnings increased 3.6% and 2% respectively.

“The company continues to work closely with its customers and to maintain its focus on service, quality and innovation to deliver attractive, competitively priced products in market conditions that are expected to remain competitive through the second half of the year,” continued Davey.

“This approach, allied to a broadening product portfolio and an anticipated strong Christmas trading period, means the business remains very well-placed to deliver further growth in this financial year.”

The full integration of Benson Park, and successful completion of its extension, which doubles capacity and improves efficiencies, have contributed towards Cranswick’s progress, while export sales to the Far East were up 17%.

“With experienced management at all levels of the group, a strong range of products, a well-invested asset base and a robust financial position, the board remains confident in the continued long-term success and development of the business,” concluded Davey.

Connor Campbell, senior market analyst at Spreadex, commented that Cranswick’s success was irregular compared to the rest of the market: “Investors gobbled up what Cranswick offered this Monday, the food producer and supplier surging to a fresh all-time high after posting a near 10% increase in revenue and a 22% jump in adjusted pre-tax profit.

“While UK pork sales have actually fallen 10% overall this year, Cranswick remains an anomaly, seeing a 15% rise in fresh pork sales. The reason? Well, Cranswick’s strength, lies not in the UK but in Asia, and with its sales in the region rising by 17%, the company now exports over 50% of UK pork.”

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