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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