Good and bad news for meat companies

An analysis of the top 100 meat companies in the UK has shown while most are flourishing, a few are in serious trouble.

The study, by industry analysts Plimsoll Publishing, shows 58 of the companies have seen their values rise by 21% in the last four years, which according to the report's authors, is a direct result of improved profitability and a conscious effort by managers to place the company on a firm financial footing.

However, 42 of the companies have seen their value fall, on average by 12%, and four of the UK's largest meat companies have seen their values plummet, dropping by 50% in the last four years.

The 260-page report includes a critical assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of each of the 100 companies. David Pattison, senior analyst at Plimsoll said: "In the study we have taken the long-term view and looked at each of these companies over the last four years. No wonder there is so much acquisition speculation in the market when the valuations change so rapidly from year to year.

"There are eight companies that really stand out in the analysis for their classic acquisition potential. Blatantly undervalued, they have the potential to double in value, if staff costs, debts and other expenses are brought better under control. These companies are likely to attract interest from private equity predators as well as industry buyers."

Copies of the report are available for £500 from Plimsoll by calling 01642 626400, visiting or by emailing

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