CRANSWICK has said its poultry division performed better than expected following the ‘successful’ commissioning of its new processing plant in Eye, Suffolk.

Revenues from the poultry division now account for 16% of group sales and were up 38.5% last year.

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The firm is now processing more than 1.3 million birds a week, it said in preliminary full-year results, which cover the 52 weeks to 27 March 2021.

“This increased capacity has primarily been achieved by increasing the number of production hours at the site but has also been enabled by continued investment in our feed milling, hatching and rearing operations where we spent £5.7 million during the year to lay down the internal supply chain for the additional 0.3 million birds per week,” the chairman’s report says.

In addition to growing total bird numbers, investment has been made in portioning equipment and other hardware that allows for more added-value poultry produce.

Breaded poultry

Cranswick also said work was underway on a new £25m breaded poultry facility in Hull, which will be operational by 2023.

Overall revenue topped £1.9bn in the financial year, up by close to 14% when compared with a year earlier.

Adjusted profits before tax was £129.7m, 27% higher than the year before.

‘Strong growth and strategic progress’

Adam Couch, Cranswick’s chief executive officer, said: “We  have  delivered  strong  growth  and  made  further  strategic  progress  in  a  year  of  unparalleled  challenge  and  complexity. 

“We have supported our customers by delivering excellent service levels to ensure full availability of our products both in-store and through the fast-growing online channel.

“Our outstanding performance would not have been possible without the incredible support of our colleagues across the business and I thank them for their continued commitment and dedication.

“The  safety and wellbeing of our colleagues remains our priority.   

Our thoughts are with the families of those colleagues we lost during the year and with all colleagues and their loved ones affected by COVID-19, who we continue to support in these most difficult times.


“We have made further progress in driving through our groupwide ‘Second Nature’ sustainability strategy during the year.   

“In November, our Milton Keynes site became the first  Cranswick facility to be awarded carbon neutral certification. 

“Since then, eight more Cranswick sites have achieved the same status as we continue to forge ahead with our climate change agenda.

“We have made a very positive start to the new financial year and, whilst there is still a degree of uncertainty about how the future will unfold, I am confident that the strengths of our business, which include its diverse and long-standing customer base, breadth and quality of products and channels, robust financial position and industry-leading infrastructure will support the further development of Cranswick in the current financial year and over the  longer term.”