British meat producer Cranswick forecast annual profit ahead of its previous expectation, helped by stronger-than-expected trading in the Christmas quarter.
Cranswick, which produces fresh pork, bacon, gourmet sausages, poultry items and continental foods, said its third-quarter revenue growth was underpinned by higher volumes across all four core UK food categories, as customers grabbed its affordable products in the pork and poultry segments.
Darren Shirley, equity research analyst – consumer at Shore Capital said, “With the major UK grocers largely already reporting their respective festive period trading performances, Cranswick is emerging as a beneficiary of an improving UK grocery volume environment as inflation eases with a beneficial alignment to supermarkets gaining market share.
“The group’s very strong Christmas assortment also looks like it has struck further chords with British shoppers.”
Trading updates from UK retailers and industry data have shown that shoppers prioritised spending on food rather than on discretionary general merchandise during Christmas, highlighting continued tight economic conditions in Britain.
The company has been investing heavily in expanding production capacity, automating processes and delving into new product lines to diversify its revenue sources. Last year, it entered the pet foods business.
The UK-based meat firm in November forecast profit for the year ending 30 March at the upper end of a company-compiled market estimate range of £153.2 million to £160.8 million ($194.5 million-$204.1 million).
Analysts on average currently expect an annual profit of £162.2 million, according to LSEG data.
News by Reuters, additional reporting by ESM.