Cranswick, the UK meat group, said today (19 May) that it expects cost pressures to continue but added that it expects to be able to push through price increases to consumers.

The company, which today booked an 8% rise in annual pre-tax profits, said it was making progress in getting price increases from its customers.

“Our teams have worked tirelessly on these ‘inflation’ projects and I am pleased to report that there was some success in quarter four, and this has gained momentum into quarter one of the new financial year,” said Bernard Hoggarth, chief executive of Cranswick’s food business.

Pre-tax profit reached GBP35.3m (US$68.7m) for the 12 months to 31 March. Turnover climbed 17% to GBP599m.

Pork and sausage sales grew, thanks to rising sales of Cranswick’s premium products, and Hoggarth said consumers were also showing signs of wanting more high-end bacon. “The sales shift into the premium sector seems finally to have arrived in the bacon category,” he said.

Meanwhile, Cranswick saw its cooked meats sales jump 32% thanks in part to the acquisition of the Delico business.