Cranswick’s profit up, while CEO goes

PORK products supplier Cranswick’s full-year profit rose 3 per cent, helped by sales growth and a fall in raw material costs in the second half.

The Hull-based company, which counts Weight Watchers and Jamie Oliver among its brands, said chief executive Bernard Hoggarth would step down at the company’s annual general meeting on August 1 and would be replaced by chief operating officer Adam Couch.

Mr Hoggarth, who has been with Cranswick for 34 years, will take up a part-time role as commercial director, the company said.

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Cranswick said Hoggarth’s departure had been planned for some time as he neared a “landmark birthday” this summer.

The company, which processes and supplies fresh pork, sausage, bacon, cooked meats, pastry products and sandwiches, raised its final dividend by 4 per cent to 19.5 pence per share.

Pre-tax profit for the year ended March 31 rose to £48.4m from £47.1m a year ago. Revenue grew 8 per cent to £821m, while underlying sales rose 10 per cent.

The company said it benefited from record production and sales during the Christmas period, and buoyant export sales, particularity to Far Eastern markets, in the second half of the fiscal year.

The company’s shares, which have risen over 8 per cent since the start of the year, closed at 818.5 pence on Friday on the London Stock Exchange.