Cranswick profits set to soar higher than forecasted

UK pork giant Cranswick is on course to beat current market forecasts as profits soar amid global issues with African Swine Fever.

The group’s adjusted Profit Before Tax for the year ending March 31, 2020, is now expected to be higher than current market forecasts.

An unscheduled trading statement issued by the firm today (January 17) read: “The interim results announcement dated November 26, 2019, stated the Group had delivered a robust performance, in a competitive UK market.

“That performance, and market backdrop, in the UK continued over the important Christmas trading period.

Revenue growth was positive across each of the group’s four product categories. Export sales have continued to be exceptionally strong and the outlook remains positive.

“As stated in our interim results announcement, African Swine Fever (ASF) has created opportunities for Far Eastern exports assuming the UK remains ASF free.

“The UK industry remains on high alert with intensive biosecurity protocols in place.”

Plans for the year ahead

The firm, which is head-quartered in Hull, has ambitious plans and is ramping up plans to open a £75 million primary poultry processing facility in Eye, Suffolk.

The group has also accelerated investment in its pig farming and rearing operations during the period through the acquisition of Packington Pork Ltd.

The transaction increases Cranswick’s self-sufficiency in UK pigs, and gives the firm direct control over a significant part of the group’s supply chain for premium pigs.

The statement explained the acquisition “further reinforces its commitment to developing a sustainable and traceable farm-to-fork operation”.

“Ongoing investment in the group’s farming operations is a key component of Cranswick’s ‘Second Nature’ sustainability strategy which aims to create a unique, industry-leading sustainability standard for the food industry,” it added.

“The board is confident that continued focus on the strengths of the company, which include its longstanding customer relationships, breadth and quality of products, robust financial position and industry-leading asset infrastructure, will support the further successful development of the group over the longer-term,” the update concluded.