Cranswick Full-Year Profit Advances on Fresh Pork Sales

Cranswick Plc (CWK), the foodmaker that holds the Weight Watchers’ U.K. sausage license, said its full- year profit rose as it sold more fresh pork to make bacon, ham and sausages.

Net income in the year to March 31 increased to 35.3 million pounds ($57.1 million), or 74.3 pence a share, from 32.6 million pounds, or 69.8 pence a share, in the year earlier period, the company said in an e-mailed statement today. Sales rose 2 percent to 758.4 million pounds.

Fresh pork sales from Cranswick’s two primary processing facilities based in East Yorkshire and Norfolk grew with combined revenue rising 17 percent during the period, the foodmaker said.

“Difficulties facing the U.K. consumer, along with rising raw material prices and the dynamics of the competitive market in which the company operates suggests that the year to March 31, 2012 may be more demanding than usual,” Chairman Martin Davey said in the statement.

U.K. households are already under pressure from the government’s fiscal squeeze and growing inflation. A report today by Ernst & Young’s ITEM Club showed rising prices and slow wage growth will limit the increase in consumer spending to 0.6 percent in 2011 and 1.3 percent in 2012. The pre-recession annual rate was 3.3 percent.

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