Cranswick will create 100 jobs with new £20m investment

Adam Couch, CEO of CranswickAdam Couch, CEO of Cranswick
Adam Couch, CEO of Cranswick
Upmarket food producer Cranswick is to create 100 new jobs and invest £20m in a new cooked bacon facility in Hull.

The firm, which is one of the largest employers in Hull, said the site is being built on Helsinki Road, Sutton Fields, alongside the existing Cranswick Gourmet Sausage site (Lazenby’s) and production will start in early 2021.

The facility will initially supply cooked bacon to a market leading, fast food restaurant chain and there are plans to expand the business further.

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The news came as Cranswick announced "a strong performance in a challenging environment" as it works closely with its customers, the Government and regulatory bodies to ensure the continued supply of essential food products.

Cranswick makes upmarket sausages for leading supermarket chainsCranswick makes upmarket sausages for leading supermarket chains
Cranswick makes upmarket sausages for leading supermarket chains

The group has continued to operate throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, and said it is playing a critical role to keep the nation fed during these unprecedented times.

The health and wellbeing of employees has been its number one priority and the group has made significant changes to the operation of the business as official guidance has been updated.

In June, site-based colleagues received a £500 bonus, as recognition of their key worker status and for their valued contribution while feeding the nation.

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In addition to supplying retailers, Cranswick has worked with organisations in Hull and the surrounding regions to support the local community during the pandemic.

The group has been busy making daily sandwiches for NHS workers at the Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospitals over the past ten weeks. All of the bread was supplied by Jacksons Bakery.

It is also working with the City Council and Fareshare to provide over 1,500 meat hampers which were distributed to the elderly and vulnerable during the first national lockdown.

It has distributed meat hampers to workers in care homes across the city and it is working with Preston Parish Council to supply hampers to elderly and shielding residents.

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In addition, it is supporting EMS, a food poverty charity, by providing food hampers throughout the pandemic helping to alleviate food poverty in East Hull.

It has also provided financial support for the launch of the Hessle and Anlaby Food Bank and it has donated £50,000 to provide financial support to The Deep Aquarium during the first lockdown to provide vital support when it was unable to open to the public.

Adam Couch, Cranswick’s chief executive, said: “I am incredibly proud of our colleagues who have performed so brilliantly in responding to the extraordinary and unparalleled challenges we currently face. I would again like to thank them for their professionalism, commitment, dedication and passion.

“Our roots are firmly in Hull and I am pleased to be able to announce the investment in the new cooked bacon site, and the creation of 100 jobs in the city to support the local economy further and provide a much needed boost to employment.”

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The firm said that its comprehensive and well embedded Covid-19 action plan is focused on keeping colleagues safe, feeding the nation and supporting its local communities.

Enhanced safety measures were swiftly introduced in March and they continue to be monitored and reviewed.

The group said its robust financial position and strong trading has allowed it to operate well within banking covenants and without recourse to any Government assistance.

It has seen "exceptionally robust" demand across all food categories, reflecting the current shift towards greater home consumption after restaurants and pubs closed their doors during the lockdowns.

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Revenues jumped 21 per cent to £932m in the six months to September 26 and like-for-like sales rose 17 per cent. Katsouris Brothers was acquired in July 2019 and its results were included for just two months in the previous half year.

Adjusted pre-tax profits leapt 31 per cent to £61m.

It said total capital expenditure of £35m was spread across the group’s asset base during the period.

Meanwhile, Brexit preparations are well advanced across all areas of the business and it continues to prepare for the end of the UK’s period of transition from the EU on December 31. Its Brexit Taskforce, which includes a number of key internal stakeholders, supported by a national third-party technical specialist, has met regularly over the course of the last six months to review and address potential Brexit risks and issues.

Mr Couch said: “We have made a strong start to the year. Although we remain cautious about the longer-term economic impact of Covid-19 and the continued uncertainty surrounding the ongoing Brexit negotiations, we are well positioned to address these challenges.

“Our outlook for the current year is unchanged and we have a solid platform from which to continue Cranswick’s successful long-term development.”

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