In the year ended 31 March 2018, the meat processor recorded a 12.7% growth in like-for-like revenue plus a 22.4% year-on-year hike in profit before tax. Total revenue was up 18% year-on year, reaching £1,464.5 million while its export sales also grew by 30.2% during the period.
All of its category divisions posted a growth in revenue, with its gourmet products wing seeing a 22.2% revenue rise, driven by the success of sausage sales in its Butcher’s Choice business.
The company’s poultry division, which makes up 12% of group revenue, saw a 21.6% growth in revenue and 16.8% rise in like-for-like sales. The business reported that plans for a new poultry processing facility in Suffolk were being “rapidly developed”.
Cranswick’s convenience division saw a 12.1% rise in revenue while its fresh pork division grew by 20.1%.
The group's exports (+30.2%) were bolstered by a massive 104% increase in sales to the US and Europe, more than offsetting the 6.1% decline in sales to the Far East.
Adam Couch, Cranswick CEO, said: “We have delivered a strong financial performance for the year and made further progress in delivering our strategy. We grew like-for-like revenue by 13% and increased adjusted profit before tax by 22%.”
Couch detailed some of the investment made by the business over the year.
“We spent a record £59m across our already well-invested asset base. This brings the total investment in our infrastructure over the last eight years to over £270m.
“Over the last 12 months we have strengthened our asset base, enhanced market positions and developed new customer relationships,” he added. “We continue to make good progress against each of our strategic objectives and we are well placed to continue our successful development in the current financial year and over the longer term.”
Read more about Cranswick's investment plans here.
Fiona Cincotta, senior market analyst at City Index, said: “Cranswick has delivered the goods yet again, as Britain’s appetite for bacon and sausages shows little sign of abating.
“What’s particularly pleasing about this result is the improvement in margins. Falling pig prices have helped, but the company is also starting to enjoy the fruits of its previous efficiency investments.
“Construction of the new continental products facility in Lancashire is already done and Cranswick has received planning approval for its new poultry operation, too.”
Cincotta added that the strong results came at a good time given the recent Sainsbury’s/Asda merger announcement.
“With Sainsbury’s bid for Asda potentially putting a squeeze on suppliers, Cranswick’s investment drive has proven extra timely.”