Cranswick Preston

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Meat producer Cranswick has continued to benefit from strong demand in supermarkets over the summer, as well as the beginnings of a recovery for food-to-go and foodservice sales as Covid-19 restrictions eased further.

The group reported a 9.6% increase in revenues in the 13 weeks to 26 June with volumes up 7.7%.

The first-quarter trading update attributed the growth to “strong retail demand and increased sales from the Eye poultry facility”.

Cranswick added the increase also reflected “the gradual but sustained recovery” of the food-to-go and food service channel.

Far East export sales were well ahead of the same quarter last year thanks to strong market prices.

The outlook for the current financial year remained in line with the board’s expectations.

CEO Adam Couch said: “We have made a positive start to the year.

“Our capital investment programme remains firmly on track as we build the platform to deliver our long-term growth strategy and we continue to make meaningful progress in delivering our group-wide ‘Second Nature’ sustainability strategy. We also continue to support our customers by delivering excellent service levels to ensure full availability of our products.

“The professionalism and commitment of our colleagues across the business is the foundation on which our successful performance is based and as always I would like to thank them for their continued dedication and support.”

Chairman Martin Davey will step down from his position at the conclusion of this morning’s AGM, as announced in May. Davey, who joined Cranswick 36 years ago and has been chairman since 2004, will stay with the business in an advisory capacity until May 2022.

“Much of what Cranswick is today in terms of its culture and ethos reflects Martin’s character and personality,” Couch added.

“He has been an inspiration, mentor, wise counsel and friend and, on behalf of all at Cranswick, I would like to thank Martin for his invaluable contribution over the last 36 years and to wish him, his wife Linda and their family all the very best for the future.”

Morning update

It’s a quiet start for the week on the markets in terms of fmcg updates.

The FTSE 100 edged back below 7,000pts upon opening this morning, falling 0.4% to 6,996.70pts.

Cranswick jumped 1.6% to 4,066pts on the back of its positive trading update. The stock is now up 15% so far this year.

Other risers this morning include Total Produce, up 2.7% to 229.5p, Hotel Chocolat Group, up 1.8% to 374p, and Wynnstay Group, up 1.7% to 539p.

Early fallers include Glanbia, down 2.3% to €14.27, Britvic, down 2% to 953p, and B&M European Value Retail, down 1.1% to 571.2p.

This week in the City

Earnings season ramps up this week with plenty of updates from fmcg players across the globe.

Tomorrow morning kicks off with the latest monthly Nielsen grocery sales figures, interims from Reckitt Benckiser, maiden results from wholesale group Kitwave and a trading update from Greencore, while over in the US there are quarterly results from McDonalds and Starbucks.

British American Tobacco and GlaxoSmithKline report first-half results on Wednesday alongside the latest British Retail Consortium shop price index.

Thursday brings first-half figures from Diageo, Compass, AB InBev, Danone and Nestlé, as well as Amazon and Hershey results in the US.

Procter & Gamble round out the week on Friday with quarterly numbers.