Cooked meat supplier Cranswick has snapped up competitor Delico in a bid to broaden its retail offer.

It will also add significant unused capacity to the group's convenience foods division, taking the pressure off its existing four sites, which are running at 85% of maximum output.

"We were running out of capacity," says chief executive Bernard Hoggarth. "Given retailer promotions and seasonal sales, it was a limitation on our growth."

At current expansion, the 100,000 sq ft Delico plant at Milton Keynes will provide headroom for one or two years, he added. The site is six years old and described as the most advanced in Europe.The Delico brand will be kept, although the plant will also start to produce own label meats.

Cranswick has stayed away from brands, since deciding last year that the future lay in own label. The group is on course for sales around £500m in the year ending in March.