The company, a leading UK food producer, generated an adjusted pre-tax profit of £44.4mln in the six months ended 30 September 2017 (2016:£37.9mln) from revenues of £714.6mln (2016: £580.8mln).
Cranswick delivered strong like-for-like topline growth of 18%, but there was a slight deterioration in operating margins from 6.6% in the full year 2016 to 6.2%. Each of its food categories delivered positive volume growth, comfortably ahead of the market, with stronger pricing reflecting partial recovery of higher input costs compared to those experienced in the same period last year.
Expansion in production facilities to drive long-term growth
It is worth noting that the company has invested a record £29mln in infrastructure during the first half of the year.; however, there is more to come as the company prepares to grow its poultry business with Adam Couch, Cranswick's chief executive officer commenting: "As part of the development of our rapidly growing poultry business we are announcing today our planned investment in a new primary poultry facility in Eye, Suffolk.
This class-leading facility, which is scheduled for completion in late 2019, will double Cranswick’s existing capacity with further room for expansion.
The facility will incorporate the highest animal welfare standards and latest generation production techniques and equipment to drive operational efficiency gains. The feed mill and hatchery operations will also be expanded to maintain a fully integrated supply chain model.
Commenting on the impact of infrastructure development on the group’s competitive position, Couch said: "During the period we have strengthened our asset base, enhanced market positions and developed new customer relationships.”
While not providing quantitative guidance for financial year 2017, Couch said the company continued to make good progress against each of its strategic objectives, leaving the group well placed to continue its successful development in the current financial year and going forward.
The shares were up 8.7% at 3,280p in morning trading.