Cranswick CEO Bernard Hoggarth has rubbished claims that an anticipated 15% slump in profits is down to its over-reliance on the supermarkets.

The rebuttal comes after the company which produces branded pork products for the likes of Jamie Oliver as well as own-label bacon and fresh pork for the supermarkets admitted in a trading update on Wednesday that it expected its full-year results to come in below expectations.

The statement prompted analysts to amend their expectations and Shore Capital revised its profits forecast for the company downward from £47m to £40m. But speaking exclusively to The Grocer, Hoggarth insisted that Cranswick did not rely on the mults any more than any other large, successful food supplier in the UK did.

"Show me somebody who isn't dealing with the supermarkets, and I'll show you a business that hasn't successfully grown over the past decade," he added.

In its statement, Cranswick, which slaughters about one third of the UK pig herd, said that raw material costs had increased during the quarter but were being actively managed through ongoing discussions with the group's customers.

"The extent of, and time lag in, recovering these rising input costs, together with other inflationary pressures, are expected to impact the company's operating margin during the first half," it stated.

Hoggarth admitted analysts may have been surprised when Cranswick "realigned" its expectations, but stressed that the company's record of success showed it was well placed for the future.

"Cranswick has grown non-stop with top-line, bottom-line, earnings per share and dividend growth in excess over the past two decades," he said.

This did not, however, mean Cranswick was immune from consumers doing smaller, less frequent shops, or from retailers fighting over space and consumer loyalty, he pointed out. "That is a different dynamic to what any of us in recent years have traded in," he said.