UK meat group Cranswick saw off the challenge of rising pork prices to book expectation-beating full-year profits this morning (19 May).

The company posted a 15.7% rise in operating profit to GBP55.8m (US$93.8m) for the year to the end of March. Net profit was GBP43.2m, up 19.6% on a year earlier.

Cranswick’s higher profits came as sales grew 13.7% to GBP994.9m. Cranswick also benefited from changes to the valuation of the pig herd in the year. Last year’s results also included one-time impairment charges.

While pig meat prices reached a “new record high” in July, the group was able to offset the cost through “constructive discussions” with customers, operating efficiency gains and internal pig rearing.

Shore Capital analyst Darren Shirley said the result was “comfortably ahead” of market expectations. “For Cranswick to deliver such robust sales and profit growth through a period when the UK consumer remained under pressure, UK grocery volumes were flat to negative and the group’s primary input cost (UK pigs) reached and sustained record prices is, in our view, an outstanding achievement,” he wrote in a note to investors.

Cranswick shares were up 2.75% at 09:45 BST today.

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By GlobalData