Cranswick grows full year sales and profits as new poultry plant comes on stream

Cranswick has published its full year results for the 52 weeks ending 28 March 2020, showing like-for-like revenue up 13% to £1.6 billion, with adjusted profit before tax up 11.2%.

Poultry sales account for 13% of its business; while pork makes up 34%.

Chairman of Cranswick, Martin Davey, wrote in the report about the impact of COVID-19 on the business in a statement dated 23 June 2020. “We have worked in close partnership with our supermarket customers to enable the optimisation of production and in maximising output to meet the surges in demand from consumers. The food-to-go sector has been badly hit, which has impacted production at a number of sites. Any colleagues affected have been relocated to our other local facilities avoiding any need to make use of the Government’s coronavirus job retention scheme.”

Davey added there was a positive outlook for the business, despite the challenges: “Whilst the impact of COVID-19 will be ongoing for some time, we are confident we will continue to meet the challenges it presents.”

Chief executive Adam Couch wrote in the report the past 12 months had been very productive, during which it had successfully commissioned its new poultry processing plant at Eye in Suffolk, and “the ramp up phase has also been successfully navigated with the facility now processing in excess of one million birds each week.”

The report also provides insights into the new poultry plant. Barry Lock, managing director of Cranswick Poultry, wrote in the report about the high level of automation. 

“The plant is located in the heart of Cranswick’s chicken rearing operations to minimise travel times. When the birds arrive at the facility, they enter a temperature controlled environment with modified lighting to help keep them calm and reduce stress before processing.

“We are able to process more efficiently, with birds arriving at the factory and the associated finished product despatched in the same day. We are able to process up to 15,000 birds an hour on our lines, faster than any of our UK competitors

“Much of the throughput of the new facility is underpinned by a long term supply agreement with Wm Morrison Supermarket.”

There is also room for expansion, the report noted. The plant, Lock wrote, “has increased our poultry capacity by 140% with the potential to expand the site further as demand for affordable low impact protein grows.”


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