UK meat supplier Cranswick has recorded an increase in first-half pre-tax profits against what it describes as a "challenging economic environment".

Profits before tax for the six months to the end of September rose 12% to GBP23.8m, while earnings per share increased 20% to 39.5 pence.

Turnover climbed 8% to GBP384.3m, while operating profit rose 10% to GBP24.6m.

Cranswick chairman Martin Davey said: "Against a challenging economic environment, it is especially pleasing to report further growth in sales and profitability and to be able to announce a rise in the dividend.

Chief executive Bernard Hoggarth added that the firm continues to be "optimistic".

"Our business operates from what are widely regarded as some of the best invested production facilities in the UK. This coupled with the group's gourmet product ranges, its reputation for quality and capability of offering several tiers through to value ranges, leaves it very well positioned going forward."

Click here to view the full earnings release.