Stronger pork market sees Watton-based Cranswick report sales growth

Food processor Cranswick, which has a factory in Watton, has seen its sales increase as more people switch to pork for protein.

Food processor Cranswick, which has a factory in Watton, has seen its sales increase as more people switch to pork for protein.

The company, which published its third quarter interim management statement for October 1 2011 to January 29 2012 today, said sales had increased by 10pc on the same period last year and the figures were helped by particularly strong sales growth in bacon and fresh pork products.

Cranswick's processes and supplies of fresh pork, sausage, bacon, cooked meats, charcuterie, pastry products and sandwiches and primarily supplies to the UK food retail, food service and food manufacturing sectors.

The statement said: 'As previously reported, pig meat products continue to gain an increased share of the UK retail protein market. Recent market data highlighted a further acceleration in this gain over the Christmas trading period. Both the versatility and the low relative price of pork to other proteins are key to this positive trend. The growing popularity of pork products continues to be a contributory factor in the increase in sales at Cranswick.'

Results for the year to 31 March 2011 showed sales of �758m and pre-tax profit of �47.1m.

The third quarter interim management statement said that there had been some recovery in its operating margin from that reported in the first half of the year, although in the last year it had remained below that achieved in the previous year.

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The firm increased its net debt from �48m to �59m during the quarter but said that was due to an expected seasonal increase in working capital, substantially increased sales and on-going capital expenditure.

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