Meat firm sees profits rise after exporting pork to Far East hit by African swine fever

PUBLISHED: 10:09 26 November 2019 | UPDATED: 10:09 26 November 2019

Cranswick Country Foods in Norfolk. Pic: Archant

Cranswick Country Foods in Norfolk. Pic: Archant

A Norfolk firm supplying products like sausages and bacon has seen its pre-tax profits rise more than 11% to £47.4m – after exporting more pork to China.

Cranswick Country Foods in Norfolk. Pic: ArchantCranswick Country Foods in Norfolk. Pic: Archant

Cranswick Country Foods, based in Watton, published its accounts for the six months ending in September reflecting a huge leap in its export business - which saw a 65% overall increase on last year with revenue from countries like China 94% higher.

Much of this massive spike was attributed to China needing to import more pork because hundreds of millions of pigs in their country have been wiped out by African swine fever. With Cranswick exporting 60% of all UK pork to this area, it's benefiting from the pork price increasing by as much as 89%.

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Cranswick Country Foods factory in Norfolk. Pic: ArchantCranswick Country Foods factory in Norfolk. Pic: Archant

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In the report, boss Adam Crouch stated: "Export revenue to our key Far Eastern markets was 94.3% higher reflecting strong demand from China following the

widespread outbreak of African Swine Fever in the region." Much of this pork is from Cranswick's Norfolk facility which was granted full Chinese export approval.

Adam Crouch, CEO, Cranswick Country Foods. Pic: ArchantAdam Crouch, CEO, Cranswick Country Foods. Pic: Archant

Mr Crouch also contributed some of the firm's success to home-grown investment with the creation of the world-class £75m poultry processing facility in Eye, Suffolk which is almost built and should start operation next year, recruiting around 900 people, and doubling capacity.

He said: "We have made a positive start to the year with reported revenue growth of 7.1% underpinned by a very strong performance in our Far East export markets. The UK market remains highly competitive.

"We completed the build phase of our new Eye poultry facility on time and to budget with the commissioning process successfully started in early November.

"I remain confident that continued focus on the strengths of our business, which include long-standing customer relationships, breadth, quality and relevance of our products, robust financial position and industry leading infrastructure, will support the further successful development of Cranswick over the near and longer term."

Cranswick acquired poultry business Crown, in Kenninghall, near Diss, in 2016, and has offices in Hull.

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