Cranswick brings home the bacon as profits rise

Increased supermarket demand for bacon and sausages helped Cranswick's annual profits jump 26 per cent to a new record, the pork products supplier said yesterday.

The group, which was started by farmers in the early 1970s to produce pig feed, said sales increased by 22 per cent to £740m in the year to 31 March, while pre-tax profits lifted to £43.8m from £34.7m a year earlier. Cranswick said sales of cooked meats rose 13 per cent, sausages 23 per cent and bacon 61 per cent, supporting its decision to invest in those categories in recent years.

The company added that increased consumer spending on such products looked set to continue this year due to the "value and versatility" of pork. Cranswick, which has supply contracts including Sainsbury's "Taste the Difference" range, expanded last year with the acquisition of family-run Bowes of Norfolk in a £17.2m deal.

As well as providing pork for Tesco, Bowes supplies the UK's main meat manufacturers, who make pies, bacon and processed meats for retailers and restaurants.

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