Pork producer Cranswick has reported a rise in sales and profits despite record input prices and squeezed consumer budgets.
Sales grew 14% to £994.9m in the year to 31 March and pre-tax profit rose 6% to £52.2m.
Fresh pork sales increased 15% and exports were up 10%, with as much as 1,000t a week shipped to the Far East in the run-up to Christmas.
Cranswick chairman Martin Davey said it had been a positive but challenging year, with pig prices hitting historic highs in July 2013.
“The business had to contend with record input prices, the impact on its customer base of the changing dynamics of UK food retailing and an environment where the consumer has been subject to ongoing financial constraints.
“The board looks forward to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead as it pursues the continuation of Cranswick’s successful long-term development,” he said.
The company invested in pig breeding and rearing this year to integrate its supply chain, buying East Anglian Pigs in April 2013 and other breeding units in the autumn and winter.
Its herd of outdoor pigs can now meet 15-20% of the business’s British pork requirements.
Sausage and bacon sales were up 2% and 14% respectively, as the premium end of the market remained strong.
Also Cranswick’s new £12m gourmet pastry product plant in Malton, North Yorkshire came into full operation this year, helping pastry sales grow 138%.
Source: Charlie Taverner, Farmers Weekly