Cranswick secures £120m financing deal

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GOURMET sausage and bacon firm Cranswick yesterday revealed that it had secured a £120m finance package to help it grow.

The package, which is backed by Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, RBS and Yorkshire Bank, will support Cranswick’s capital spending programme.

In a trading update, Hull-based Cranswick said that underlying sales increased by 12 per cent in the year ended March 31 2014.

Total sales for the year were 13 per cent higher after taking into account the contribution from

acquisitions. Strong growth was seen across most product categories, particularly fresh pork, bacon and cooked meats. Pastry sales also continue to grow strongly following the successful launch of several new product ranges during the year.

The statement added: “Export sales were well ahead of the levels reported in the previous financial year, reflecting robust demand for pork products in Far Eastern markets. The group invested in excess of £20m in its infrastructure during the year ended March 31 2014, allowing it to further improve operational efficiencies and to launch new product ranges. The group’s new gourmet pastry facility at Malton, North Yorkshire, was successfully commissioned earlier in the financial year, albeit with higher than anticipated start-up costs and work is ongoing on the extension to the Milton Keynes cooked meats facility which will add substantial capacity and deliver further efficiency gains.”

Analysts from Investec said Cranswick had closed the year with a strong balance sheet, despite further investment in the infrastructure and pig herds.