- UK meat producer Cranswick said first-half profits fell as uncertain domestic market conditions and softer pricing in Far Eastern markets kept a lid on revenues.

For the six months ended 30 September, statutory profit before tax fell 4.3% to £42.6m, and revenue was roughly flat at £719.2m, compared with a £714.6m from a year earlier.

The weaker performance, which was in-line with management's expectations, was blamed on 'reduced prices in certain key wholesale and export markets and the relocation of the continental products business to new premises.'

The interim dividend was increased by 5.3% to 15.9p a share. 'The group's capital investment programme remains firmly on track. During the period we spent a record £41m across our already well invested asset base as we build a platform for future growth,' said Adam Couch, Cranswick's Chief Executive Officer. 'Our new £27 million Continental Products facility in Bury, Lancashire was commissioned during the period. We have also invested heavily in the group's agricultural operations and construction of a £60 million class-leading, primary poultry processing facility in Eye, Suffolk, which is due for completion towards the end of the next financial year, is now well underway.' 'The board is confident that continued focus on the strengths of the company, which include its long-standing customer relationships, breadth and quality of products, developing export channels and asset infrastructure, will support the delivery of its expectations for the current year and its further successful development over the longer term.'

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