Leading the way was pre-tax profit rising by 22% to £31.5M and revenue up 9.9% to £529.1M.
Cranswick was in “excellent overall shape”, delivering strong results ahead of market estimations, Shore Capital’s analysts Clive Black and Darren Shirley said.
“There are areas where management will be seeking to make improvements and reverse setbacks, such as sandwiches, but, in the main, it is a story of an innovative business efficiently delivering high value added to its customers and the consumers from well invested facilities,” they said.
“Those facilities continued to be supported to drive necessary productivity improvements, against the backdrop of a demonstrably challenging British grocery industry, whilst also building scale and capacity.”
Innovation to remain competitive
The positive results came off the back of a number of investments and a maintained focus on service, quality and innovation to remain competitive, Cranswick’s chairman Martin Davey claimed.
“This approach, allied to a broadening product portfolio and an anticipated strong Christmas trading period, means the business remains very well placed to deliver further growth in this financial year,” he said.
Cranswick’s ‘crackling’ results in numbers
- £529.1M: revenue
- £31.5M: adjusted pre-tax profit
- 51.5p: adjusted earnings per share
- £4.8M: net debt (78.5% lower)
- £25.5M: statutory profit before tax
During the period, £13.5M was invested in the business, including in its Kingston Foods cooked meats factory, the Benson Park food-to-go business it acquired in 2014 and other initiatives to boost capacity and drive operating efficiencies, Davey added.
Export volumes grew
Total export volumes grew by 18%, with 1,000t of product shipped to the Far East a week and accounting for 50% of all pig meat exports from the UK.
Fresh pork sales grew by 15% fuelled – in part – by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board’s pulled pork advertising campaign. This campaign resulted in a 19% year-on-year increase in shoulder joint sales, Cranswick claimed.
Sausage sales were up 21%, bacon rose by 21% and pastry sales were 45% ahead of the previous year.
There was less positive news for cooked meat and sandwich sales, which both fell by 5%.
Finally, sales of continental products increased by 12%.