Cranswick riding high after strong trading update

SHARES in Cranswick rose nearly four per cent in trading today after the Yorkshire pork products group said it performed strongly in a competitive environment.

Martin Davey

The company said revenues rose 9.9 per cent to £529.1m in the six months to September 30.

Pre-tax profits rose 3.6 per cent to £25.5m.

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Chairman Martin Davey said: “The business performed strongly during the first half of the year and recorded revenue slightly ahead of the board’s original expectations.

“Alongside record first-half sales it is pleasing to report to shareholders that adjusted profit before tax for the period increased 22.0 per cent to £31.5m from £25.8m in the corresponding period last year.

“Adjusted earnings per share rose 25.3 per cent to 51.5 pence compared to 41.1 pence previously.

“The interim dividend is being increased by 9.4 per cent to 11.6 pence per share from 10.6 pence previously.

“The company continues to work closely with its customers and to maintain its focus on service, quality and innovation to deliver attractive, competitively priced products in market conditions that are expected to remain competitive through the second half of the year.

“This approach, allied to a broadening product portfolio and an anticipated strong Christmas trading period, means the business remains very well placed to deliver further growth in this financial year.

“With experienced management at all levels of the group, a strong range of products, a well-invested asset base and a robust financial position, the board remains confident in the continued long term success and development of the business.”

Analysts at Peel Hunt said: “Cranswick delivered a strong performance in the first half, with profits up 22 per cent on the back of healthy volume growth and improving margins.

“The comparisons get tougher in the second half and the tailwind from the falling pig price will reduce; however, the company should still deliver ahead of expectations.”