March 8 2014 Latest news:
Ben Woods, Business writer
Friday, December 6, 2013
Watton-based Cranswick has softened the blow of escalating pig prices by producing 20pc of its weekly pork requirement.
The EDP Top 100 company, which employs more than 1,000 people in Norfolk, said a move to snap up two pig rearing businesses, including East Anglian Pigs in Little Melton, has allowed it to mitigate costs of rising pig prices to maintain profits.
It comes after the firm invested £12m in a pastry factory in Malton, Yorkshire, last month as part of a deal with Marks & Spencers to produce pies and lattices for its food hall.
In its interim results for the six months ending September 30, The firm posted a 4pc rise in pre-tax profits from £22.4m last year, to £23.2m, while reported revenue rose by 15pc – from £418.6m in 2012, to £483.5m last year.
Martin Davey, Cranswick’s chairman, said: “Continued growth in sales, significant investment in the asset base, most notably the commissioning of the new pastry facility, along with the strategic development of the company’s pig breeding and rearing activities were all positive features of the six months trading. The increase in sales is especially encouraging.
“The pastry business is making progress and the impact of higher pig prices has been partially mitigated by on-going efficiency improvements, sales volume growth, acquisitions and through constructive discussions with customers.”
A “shoo-before-shooting” policy to control pigeons has been described by a leading Norfolk farmer as “completely bonkers”.