The acquisition of Bowes of Norfolk and the popularity of pork in the recession have helped Cranswick to strong sales growth in the third quarter.

Sales for the company, excluding the pet business that was sold in April, were up 31% over the same period last year to £200m.

The increase was due to a 17% increase in underlying business performance and 14% from CCF Norfolk, which it acquired last June.

Fresh pork sales were up by more than two-thirds (70%), while bacon rose 61%, sausage sales were up 21%, cooked meats by 17% and Continental products by 9%.

Net debt increased from £61m to £67m, but that figure was still below the £74m recorded the previous year. Operational efficiencies were also continuing at the former Bowes site, the company added.

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