- Cranswick reported a modest decline in pre-tax profits on weaker growth in other pork related categories amid highly competitive market conditions and ongoing Brexit uncertainty.

For 12 months ended 31 March, statutory pre-tax profits fell 1.7% to £86.5m and reported revenue slipped 1.9% to £1.44bn and 0.2% on a like-for-like basis.

Adjusted profit before tax, however, fell just 0.4% to £92.0m.

'Strong revenue growth from poultry, sausages and continental products partly offset lower year-on-year revenue in other pork related categories,' the company said.

Like-for-like Fresh Pork revenue fell by 3.8%, which the company blamed on lower wholesale and export demand through the first half of the year, with the average number of pigs processed during the year falling to 56,000 per week, from 59,000 in the prior year. 

But overall our retail sales growth of 0.7% was ahead of the wider Fresh Pork retail market performance, as the World Cup and summer weather combined to deliver a 'strong barbecue season.'

Like-for-like export revenues increased by 3.1% year on year, with Far East export volumes up 16.1 % ahead year-on-year, with stronger pricing towards the end of the year amid supply tightening in the Chinese market caused by African Swine Fever (ASF) epidemic. 

But the UK pig price continued to ease during the period, and weighed on selling prices, ending the quarter 7% lower than at the same stage last year. 

The company proposed a final dividend payment of 40p a share, up 3.6% from a year earlier, taking the full-year ordinary dividend to 55.9p, up 4.1% year-on-year.

'Trading since then has been as anticipated and the Board's expectations for the Group's performance in the new financial year remain unchanged,' the company said.

At 8:14am: [LON:CWK] Cranswick PLC share price was +15p at 2877p

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