Meat business Cranswick sees sales grow in difficult market

Revenue rose 5.8% to £2.01bn at meat processor Cranswick in the year ended 26 March 2022, according to the company’s latest annual report and accounts.

Adjusted profit before tax, giving a comparison with like-for-like activities in the previous year, was 5.6% higher, at £136.9m.

The company’s net debt totalled £106m, up from £92.4m in 2021.

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Cranswick’s chairman, Tim Smith, said the business had made further positive and sustainable progress, delivering revenue and earnings growth in a relentlessly challenging operating environment, and highlighting its robust and sustainable nature.

“Growth has continued in our domestic market, with elevated retail demand offsetting lower revenue from our Far East export market,” he said.

“The unprecedented, well-publicised, industry-wide labour and supply chain challenges have been well managed, with excellent customer service levels maintained. The cost inflation we continue to experience, a global phenomenon, is being proactively managed and recovered.”

The company’s main lines are in fresh pork, gourmet sausages, bacon and gammon, fresh and cooked chicken and meats, continental foods and gourmet pastry.

During the year, Cranswick commissioned its cooked bacon and breaded poultry facilities in Hull, meaning it has opened four new-build production facilities in the past five years at a cost of £180m.

Alongside the core food business, the company bought Ramona’s Kitchen, a supplier of authentic Mediterranean plant-based foods, Atlantica UK, a supplier of Spanish tortillas, and Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire-based Grove Pet Foods.

Mark Bottomley, Cranswick’s chief financial officer, said: “We have delivered record results in extremely challenging trading conditions. We have invested at pace, spending £93.7m to add capacity and strengthen our asset base.

“Our long-term growth strategy remains firmly on track. Our robust financial position, conservatively managed balance sheet and class-leading asset base underpin the foundations from which we continue to grow and develop the business during the next financial year and over the longer term.”