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Third quarter growth at Cranswick helped by 'strong' Christmas performance

PUBLISHED: 09:39 01 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:39 01 February 2018

Cranswick Country Foods in Watton - on the production line. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Cranswick Country Foods in Watton - on the production line. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2012

Trading in the run-up to Christmas exceeded expectations at a regional meat processor.

Cranswick, which has facilities in Watton and Weybread, says total and like-for-like revenue in the three months to December 31 were ahead of the previous year with each of its categories seeing volume growth.

In its third quarter trading update the group said growth had been underpinned by a “strong performance” over the key Christmas period.

But a “downward trend” in UK pig prices had been reflected in selling prices, it added.

The Hull-based group says it is continuing “to invest at record levels” to increase capacity, add new capabilities and improve operating efficiency.

In November the company revealed plans to build a new £54m chicken processing facility in Eye and invest £13m upgrading a hatchery site at Kenninghall which it inherited when it bought Weybread-based Crown Chicken in 2016.

Subject to planning permission, construction is expected to begin in the spring with completion scheduled for late 2019.

In the year to March 31 2017 Cranswick, a member of the EDP/EADT Top 100 companies in Norfolk and Suffolk by turnover, turned over £1,245bn and made profits before tax of £77.5m.

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