UK meat producer Cranswick’s profit view underlines booming domestic demand

(Reuters) -British meat producer Cranswick on Tuesday forecast annual profit at the upper end of current market estimates, betting strong domestic demand and higher pig prices would offset a fall in China volumes.

Analysts are expecting adjusted profit before tax between 153.2 million pounds and 160.8 million pounds ($190.90 million-$200.37 million) for the year ending March 30, 2024, according to a company-provided consensus.

Last year, the 49 year-old firm, which traces its roots to a pig farming collective in Yorkshire, reported adjusted profit before tax of 140.1 million pounds.

Strong demand in its main market UK, coupled with higher pig prices due to geopolitical factors, has helped Cranswick offset the impact of a slower-than-expected recovery in China.

Cranswick has been investing heavily in expanding production capacity, automating processes and delving into new product lines to diversify revenue sources. It recently entered the pet foods business.

The company, which produces fresh pork, bacon, gourmet sausages, poultry items and continental foods, said revenue rose 12% to 1.25 billion pounds for the 26 weeks ended Sept. 23.

“Momentum has continued through the start of the third quarter as our customers and the UK consumer continue to appreciate the affordability, value for money and versatility of our core pork and poultry categories,” CEO Adam Couch said in a statement.

($1 = 0.8025 pounds)

(Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)