Sausage firm links sales to versatility
SALES at food firm Cranswick plc have been driven up by the UK market's quest for value-for-money products.
The Hull company has revealed total sales for the six months to September 30 were 6 per cent higher than in the same period last year.
The underlying turnover for the same period was also up five per cent compared with last year.
A company statement said: "Both the versatility and the low relative price of pork to other proteins are key to this positive trend."
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The company confirmed the final stages of its recent multi-million investment programme at the group's primary processing facility at Preston have now been completed.
It stated: "Investment in rapid chilling and reorganising butchery operations has led to further operational efficiencies."
It is now pressing ahead with an extension of its cooked meat facility in Sutton Fields.
In a statement, Cranswick said this extension will "provide increased capacity to meet anticipated sales growth and will also improve production flows through the factory which, in turn, will drive efficiency benefits."
Earlier this year, Cranswick acquired land for a £12m premium pastry plant in Malton, North Yorkshire.
Work has already begun on the facility, which will focus on the premium sausage roll, quiche and pie markets.
The statement said: "Once completed, this will enable Cranswick to significantly upscale current operations.
"The factory is expected to be fully commissioned by next spring, enabling the group to offer a broad range of premium savoury pastry products to existing and prospective customers."
The company, which employs about 1,200 people, said pig prices are currently at a three-year high, with prices in the rest of the EU rising in recent weeks.
It warned further increases were anticipated, but said discussions with customers over the need to ensure continuity of supply were already under way.
Previous increases had been absorbed by improvements in efficiency, the company said.
Cranswick said: "With experienced management at all levels of the group, a strong range of products, a well-invested asset base and a robust financial position, the board remains confident in the long-term development of the business."
The company intends to announce its interim results on November 26.