Pork still champion for Cranswick

HULL-based food manufacturer Cranswick has reported an increase in pre-tax profits against a backdrop of rising raw material costs.

The firm, which is best known for its pork products, said profit before tax for the year ended March 31, 2009 had risen 9% to £36.7m.

Sales also rose by 9% to £653m from £33.7m for the same period 2008.

It said that despite a number of challenges in the year including inflation, the impact of a sliding sterling and the economic downturn its business had been buoyed by strong sales of its pork products.

Chairman Martin Davey said that as a result, the board had made the decision last year to focus fully on its food business.

In April, Cranswick announced the acquisition of Norfolk-based pork processing business Bowes for £17.2m.

In the same month it confirmed it had sold its pet business Cranswick Pet & Aquatics, which consists of trading businesses Cranswick Pet Products (CPP) and Tropical Marine Centre (TMC), as part of a £17m management buyout led by board director Derek Black.

Finance for the MBO is being provided by Lloyds TSB Development Capital.

On the announcement the manufacturer said that the deal would allow it to reduce group borrowings ahead of the completion for Bowes.

Mr Davey said: “‘Cranswick has a well invested asset base, is strongly cash generative, has skilled operational management teams and is positioned in a number of growth categories of the food sector.

“The company has commenced the new financial year in line with management expectations and is well placed to continue its successful development.”

Cranswick also announced the retirement of its finance director John Lindop who has been with the firm for 17 years. He will be replaced by current group financial controller Mark Bottomley.

 

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