Cranswick reports solid trading in third quarter

Cranswick has reported a solid third quarter of 2016, with trading “in line with expectations”. 

In the trading up for the three months to 31 December 2016, the processor said that total and underlying revenue was “well ahead of the prior year”, driven by strong volume growth and a “robust” Christmas trading period.

Operational highlights for the period included the acquisition of Dunbia Ballymena, which has performed in line with the board’s expectations, with integration proceeding to plan.

Its export sales continued to grow strongly, with Far East revenues well ahead of the same quarter last year, reflecting both ongoing demand from the region and increased output from the group’s two primary processing facilities.

The business did report that input costs rose further during the period, but that efficiency improvements, internal pig production and constructive pricing discussions with customers helped to partially mitigate the impact.

The group’s net debt increased during the quarter and was above the level reported at the same stage last year, reflecting the anticipated seasonal increase in working capital, the acquisition of Dunbia Ballymena and ongoing capital expenditure.

In its outlook for the rest of the financial year, the board is “confident in both the prospects for the remainder of the current financial year and the continued long-term success and development of the business”, due to its “strong range of products, a well-invested asset base and a robust financial position”.

It said it planned to continue to invest heavily across its asset base to increase capacity, add new capability and drive further operating efficiencies. It noted that work has recently started on the new, purpose-built continental products factory in Bury, Greater Manchester. 

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