|LONDON (SHARECAST) - Chief Executive Officer Bernard Hoggarth is signing off on a bright note at food producer Cranswick, which has made a solid start to its new financial year.
Trading since April 1st has been in line with expectations, with all product categories delivering robust growth , especially sausage, bacon and continental products.
Sales for the three months to 30th June increased by 7.4% versus the second quarter of last year to £209m.
There were further modest increases in pig prices during the reporting period, though they remain below the peak of last summer. The impact has been absorbed through increased volumes and continued operating efficiencies, the group said.
Net debt at the end of June stood at £38m, up from £22m three months earlier. The increase reflects a seasonal uplift in working capital and cash spent on the acquisition of Kingston Foods. Net debt was, however, well below the £55m at the end of June 2011.
"With experienced management at all levels of the group, a strong range of products, a well invested asset base and a robust financial position, the board, whilst mindful of the continuing challenges facing the UK consumer, remains confident in the continued long term success and development of the business," the group's interim management statement concluded.
Adam Couch will take over as Chief Executive Officer at August 1st's annual general meeting, succeeding Bernard Hoggarth, who will stay on as Commercial Director on a part-time basis.