Cranswick, Greencore and Hilton Food Group: financial round-up

By Gwen Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Greencore, Crasnwick and Hilton Food Group all released financial updates
Greencore, Crasnwick and Hilton Food Group all released financial updates

Related tags: Meat & Seafood

Cranswick, Greencore and Hilton Food Group have all reported growth amid a string of crises bombarding the food and drink sector in their latest financial updates, covered in this round-up.

Cranswick supports growth through facility expansion 

Meat processor Cranswick reported a 5.8% growth in revenue to just over £2bn for the year ended 26 March 2022. It also reported a 5.6% increase in adjusted profit before tax to £136.9m during the period. 

The manufacturer spent £93.7m across its asset base to support its continued growth plans. This included capacity expansion at its Eye site and two new production facilities in Hull – a £26m cooked bacon facility commissioned at the beginning of the year and a new £32m breaded poultry facility commissioned shortly after year end.  

Adam Couch, Cranswick chief executive, said: “In a year which has been unprecedented in terms of the scale and breadth of challenges we have faced, we have delivered our strategy at pace and our long-term growth plan remains firmly on track. 

“Trading in the new financial year has been in line with the Board’s expectations. Notwithstanding the challenging operating conditions we continue to experience, our outlook for the Group for the current year is unchanged.  We have a solid platform from which to continue Cranswick’s successful long-term development.” 

Despite the successes of the year, Couch highlighted the lack of Government support in dealing with the economic impact of the war in Ukraine and the ongoing labour crisis.  

“The rapid escalation in feed costs, together with other inflationary pressures and the well-publicised shortage of skilled butchers resulting directly from the Government’s post-Brexit immigration policy, has put the pig producer sector under severe and unsustainable strain,” he added.  

“We have suggested ways to mitigate these challenges, including reducing exports of soft commodities and their use in bioethanol production, which have not been acted on. More needs to be done by Government in the coming months to ensure that we have a viable long-term pig farming industry.” 

Greencore emerging strong from challenging period 

Greencore reported a 20% increase to adjusted operating profit to £39m against group revenue of £1.32bn (up 4.8%) in the year ended 24 September 2021. 

Food-to-go and convenience were the strongest performing categories for the group, with the former contributing more than a third of the 38% pro forma revenue growth in the fourth quarter of 2021. 

Exiting Chief executive Patrick Coveney said the business had made good progress in rebuilding revenues, cashflows and profitability following a challenging first half in full-year 21 – progress he hoped would continue into 2022. 

“The strong recovery of the UK food to go market, as well as solid performance in other convenience food categories, underpins this confidence,”​ he added. “New business wins achieved last year are contributing to our momentum, and we anticipate delivery of profits for the year ahead in line with current market expectations. 

“With strong free cashflow and a significant reduction in leverage achieved in FY21, the Group enters the new financial year on a robust financial footing. Greencore has a strong position in the dynamic UK convenience food market and, with demand remaining strong in the early stages of FY22, has confidence in its medium-term prospects.” 

Hilton performance ahead of expectations 

Hilton Food Group has reported its Group expectations for the first half of 2022 (3 January to 25 May 22) are ahead of expectations, with the meat firm forecast to hit its £3.59bn revenue targets for the full-year 2022. 

Speaking ahead of the Group’s annual general meeting, sales growth reflected increases in raw materials as well as the ‘execution of growth initiatives’.  

While higher prices had some effect on volume, this was partly mitigated by strong growth in Hilton’s Central European markets due to the continued success of added-value fresh foods as well as in its slow cooked products business in the UK.  

“The Group has also benefitted from the continued expansion of additional proteins such as fish and plant based across geographies, particularly in the Scandinavian markets,​” said a spokesman for the business. 

“We also continue to make progress in the out of home food market, with our food service business, Fairfax Meadow performing in line with expectations, and Hilton Food Solutions, our trading business also performing well.” 

Related topics: Meat, poultry & seafood, Operations

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