Trading in the first quarter of the financial year has been strong at Cranswick, according to its latest trading statement. Revenue in the 13 weeks to 27 June 2020 was 24.8% ahead of the same period last year.
Excluding the contribution from acquisitions made in the prior year, revenue on a like-for-like basis was 19.2% higher. The business had benefitted from the current shift towards eating at home, triggered by the pandemic.
Cranswick said the business had also benefitted from increased poultry sales from its new processing plant in Suffolk. The plant was performing strongly, the update said, and had won several new contracts. This had “comfortably offset lower food service revenue.”
Capital expenditure in the current financial year is expected to be lower than the record £101 million spent in the prior year, following the successful completion of the new £78 million poultry primary processing facility at Eye in Suffolk.
Following the exceptional demand experienced in the first quarter, retail volumes are expected to begin to normalise through the remainder of the year as consumers gradually return to eating out of home.
Adam Couch, chief executive of Cranswick, said: “Our teams across the business have responded brilliantly during these extraordinary and unparalleled times and I would like to thank them for their incredible support and hard work which has enabled us to continue to deliver premium food products with outstanding service to our customers. “We have made a strong start to the year. Whilst we remain cautious about the longer-term economic impact of COVID-19 and the uncertainty surrounding the ongoing Brexit negotiations we are well positioned to address these challenges. Our positive momentum reflects the continued investment we make across our asset base and the quality and capability of our colleagues across the business.”