Pork producer Cranswick sees profits top £100m

Pork specialist Cranswick Plc has posted a 16 per cent increase in turnover, taking revenues to £1.6 billion in the last financial year, with strong growth and strategic progress underlined.

Profits have also topped £100 million for the Hull-headquartered company, thanks to a 13.9 per cent hike.

It has allowed the FTSE-listed entity to increase shareholder dividends by 8.1 per cent to 60.4p a share, reflecting 30 years of unbroken dividend growth, with the long-term impact of coronavirus and Brexit not causing too much concern.

More than £100 million has also been invested by Cranswick, with a new Suffolk site developed and other business acquisitions made in the region and beyond.

Adam Couch, chief executive, said: “The last 12 months has seen us deliver key steps in our diversification strategy with the successful commissioning of our Eye poultry facility and the acquisition of Katsouris Brothers which expands our non-meat activities.  We also completed two further acquisitions to increase our vertical integration in pork.

Adam Couch, CEO at Cranswick

“We spent a record £101 million across our asset base and this brings the total investment in our infrastructure over the last eight years to more than £400 million.

“The strong growth and strategic progress we have made over the last 12 months has been made possible by the platform we have built and the pipeline we have laid down in recent years.  Our positive momentum is a reflection of the continued investment we make and the quality and capability of all our colleagues.

“There has been a positive start to trading in the new financial year, though we remain mindful of the uncertainty around the longer-term effects of the Covid-19 crisis and Brexit negotiations. Nonetheless, our outlook for the current year is unchanged and we have a solid platform from which to continue Cranswick’s successful long-term development.”

Katsouris was added in a £43 million deal in July, with the FTSE-listed firm adding pig farming business Packington Pork and acquiring the partner shares in the White Rose Farms business it helped launch in 2018.

The accounts, for the year to March 28, showed a 92 per cent increase in Far East export, with the African Swine Fever playing into the East Yorkshire farmer-founded operation’s channels.

Profit expectations had been raised in January.

Cranswick is a FTSE 250 food manufacturer based in Hull
(Image: Cranswick)

However, with the coronavirus pandemic coming to the fore with lockdown in the final week of the reporting period, the response to Covid-19 and the work throughout to keep Britain fed by the key workers has also been highlighted.

A total of 4,500 are employed across five production plants in the city, with a similar number again nationwide. Three employees who worked at a South Yorkshire plant died from the virus.

“We continue to experience and operate in the most challenging of periods,” Mr Couch said. “Our business is founded on our people and I would like to thank all our colleagues for their professionalism, commitment, dedication and passion. 

“We will continue to support all Cranswick colleagues and their families who have been affected by Covid-19.”

A £500 bonus is being paid to all site colleagues next week, and the business has supported  communities with a number of initiatives, including making and delivering sandwiches and sausage rolls to front line NHS staff, giving food hampers to the elderly and the vulnerable in  as well as supporting charities.

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