Close up of pigs

Squeezed retail pork prices reined in sales at pork processor Cranswick in the last year.

Fresh pork revenue dropped 10% in the year to 31 March, with lower pig prices feeding through to lower prices on the shelf.

But improved bacon and sausage sales, alongside other categories, helped Cranwick’s revenue rise 0.8% to just more than £1bn.

See also: Pig prices dip below historic average

Pre-tax profit dropped 3.6% to £52.8m, following a series of charges.

Cranswick results 2014-15

  • Revenue up 0.8% to £1bn
  • Statutory pre-tax profit down 3.6% to £52.8m
  • Adjusted pre-tax profit up 10.6% to £57.8m
  • Fresh pork sales down 10%
  • Bacon sales up 4% and sausages up 6%

CEO Adam Couch said the company was focused on delivering premium products that gave consumers value.

“Cranswick has performed positively during a period in which the UK grocery market has remained highly competitive,” he said.

The firm’s exports to countries beyond Europe were 23% higher on the year but shipments to European destinations were down. This was due to more pigmeat being sold into the UK.

A third of the tonnage through Cranswick’s two main processing sites was now being shipped abroad, the company said.

Cranswick has its own business development manager based in Shanghai, working with the China Britain Business Council.

It has also invested in its in-hand breeding and rearing sites, and the business now has capacity to supply more than 20% of its British pig needs.