Fatter profits at Cranswick as pork demand grows

Bacon and sausage supplier Cranswick reported a robust set of annual results, as pork consumption in the UK continues to grow, and said it is well placed for future growth.

Bacon and sausage supplier Cranswick reported a robust set of annual results, as pork consumption in the UK continues to grow, and said it is well placed for future growth.

Adjusted pre-tax profit rose 8% to £49.3m for the year ended March 31st 2013 while reported revenues for the year climbed 7% to £875m.

Adjusted earnings per share increased 8% to 78.9p while net debt reduced to £20.1m from £21.7m in 2012.

Cranswick has been in the news recently after its acquisition of supplier and pig breeder East Anglian Pigs. The deal further shortens its supply chain and boosts its reputation as a premium, increased pig welfare firm.

While shoppers are increasingly opting for relatively lower priced pork, the recent fallout from the horsemeat crisis has also boosted demand for Cranswick's product.

Cranswick said the East Anglian Pigs deal demonstrates an on-going commitment to, and greater control over, a robust and integrated supply chain with a clear focus on premium, British ingredients.

It will also give UK consumers further assurance as to the provenance and quality of its products, it added.

The board is proposing to increase the final dividend to 20.6p per share, an increase of 5.6% on last year.

Cranswick noted: "Recent issues in the integrity of the supply chain for meat products and the introduction in 2013 of higher welfare standards for pig production in the EU enhance the competitive position of UK based pork processors."

"The company's well invested asset base, providing efficient means of production and headroom for future growth, along with an experienced management team and a robust balance sheet should enable it to capitalise on opportunities that arise."

CJ

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