Experts have said that the firm performed ahead of expectations for the all-important Christmas period, with notably strong results in its bacon and fresh pork categories.
Total sales for the period ending December 31 increased by 10%, up from the 5% reported growth announced by the firm last year.
Darren Shirley, analyst at Shore Capital, said: “In the UK, Cranswick continues to benefit from the strengthening value traits of pork against other proteins. Indeed, the rate of pork’s share gains actually accelerated over the Christmas period, most notably in our view, at the expense of poultry.
“The firm’s management has stated the trend to be a contributory factor in the sales growth, though we believe Cranswick continues to be successful in gaining share within the pork and other existing categories.”
Damian McNeela, analyst at Panmure Gordon said that Cranswick had performed “positively” and also cited the lower price of pork as a key factor.
He said: “The firm continues to recover margins in line with expectations. Since mid-December the UK DAPP (dead weight average pig price) has declined by 3% to 143p/kg, which should also benefit margins.
“Given the strong performance for the period, encouraging outlook for the fourth quarters promotional activity and recent falls in the UK pork prices we are increasing our 2012 profit before tax forecasts by £2.9M to £43.8M, resulting in earnings per share increasing 7% to 67.9p.”