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ASF windfall continues to drive Cranswick profit beyond expectations

17th Jan 2020 / By Alistair Driver

The African swine fever (ASF) crisis that has wiped huge numbers of pigs in Asia continues to boost the profitability of the UK pork processing sector, the latest update from Cranswick suggests. 

Cranswick1The Hull-based pork and poultry processor's third quarter trading statement reveals the group’s Adjusted Profit Before Tax for the current financial year, ending March 2020, is now expected to be higher than current market forecasts. It said the outlook 'remains positive' on the back of soaring export business. 

Cranswick's interim results in November 2019 reported a 3.6% rise in pre-tax profits to £47.6 million, in the six months ended September 30, 2019, boosted by a 65% rise in total export revenue with Far East revenues having almost doubled. Cranswick described this as ‘a robust performance, in a competitive UK market’.

“That performance, and market backdrop, in the UK continued over the important Christmas trading period. Revenue growth was positive across each of the Group’s four product categories,” the statement said.

“Export sales have continued to be exceptionally strong and the outlook remains positive. As stated in our interim results announcement, African Swine Fever has created opportunities for Far Eastern exports, assuming the UK remains ASF free. The UK industry remains on high alert with intensive biosecurity protocols in place.”

Since the company’s interim results, Cranswick has acquired outdoor pig producer Packington Pork, which it said materially increased its self-sufficiency in UK pigs processed. 

“The Board is confident that continued focus on the strengths of the Company, which include its long-standing customer relationships, breadth and quality of products, robust financial position and industry leading asset infrastructure, will support the further successful development of the Group over the longer term,” the statement said. 

NPA chief executive Zoe Davies congratulated Cranswick on its ongoing financial success. "We hope that this good news will extend across the supply chain. We fully expect that the providers of Cranswick's profit will benefit from the windfall that continues to drive it upwards," she added.