Listed food group has appetite for further growth as revenues rise

Food producer Cranswick says its revenue in the 13 weeks to 26 June 2021 was 9.6% ahead of the same period last year, with corresponding volumes up 7.7%

Issuing a first quarter trading statement, the Hull-based firm says this reflects strong retail demand and increased sales from its Eye poultry facility. 

The business adds the revenue growth also reflects the “gradual but sustained” recovery of the food to go and food service channel. 

Cranswick’s Far East export sales were well ahead of the same quarter last year, thanks to strong market prices – noting the UK pig price has increased by 12% during the period although the average price across the quarter to June remains below that in the equivalent period of 2020.

The food producer has confirmed it will “continue to invest at pace” across its asset base to “support future growth and further operating efficiencies”.  

This investment follows work to increase capacity at its Eye poultry facility where it can now process 1.4m birds per week. The update notes that a new £20m cooked bacon facility in Hull also “started commercial production during the quarter”.

“A further £5m will be spent at the facility over the coming months to add additional capacity and capability.  

“Work on the new premium breaded poultry facility in Hull is progressing well, with incremental investment of £5m, which includes a third production line, added to what is now an overall £30m build plan.”

As a result of strong cash generation and tight working capital management, net debt was only modestly higher than the March year end position.

Adam Couch

Cranswick says it remains in a robust financial position with committed, unsecured facilities of £200m providing comfortable headroom.

Adam Couch, CEO, said: “We have made a positive start to the year. Our capital investment programme remains firmly on track as we build the platform to deliver our long-term growth strategy and we continue to make meaningful progress in delivering our Group-wide ‘Second Nature’ sustainability strategy. 

“We also continue to support our customers by delivering excellent service levels to ensure full availability of our products.

“The professionalism and commitment of our colleagues across the business is the foundation on which our successful performance is based and as always I would like to thank them for their continued dedication and support.”