Meat giant Cranswick has been buoyed by high demand for sausages, bacon and cooked meat as more meals were eaten at home, offsetting disruption from the coronavirus pandemic.
The East Yorkshire-based business closed operations at its factory in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, for 14 days due to a local outbreak, while it also chose to temporarily suspend the site’s China export licence.
It said it spent more than £8 million in response to the virus which disrupted operations at “a small number of sites”.
However, it said it has been “able to manage this disruption to minimise the impact on our customers”, due to the diversity of its sites across the business.
Despite higher costs as a result of the pandemic, the company posted a £62 million operating profit for the six months to September 26, compared with £47.4 million for the same period last year.
Meanwhile, revenues jumped by 21% to £931.6 million for the half-year.
It said it was boosted by a jump in retail sales as more shoppers bought meat from supermarkets to eat at home.
Sales of its cooked meats and continental products business, which sells items such as olives and sun-dried tomatoes, jumped by 21.5%.
It added that its sausage, bacon and pastry business also performed particularly strongly, as more cooked breakfasts were eaten at home.
Adam Couch, Cranswick’s chief executive officer, said: “I am incredibly proud of our colleagues who have performed so brilliantly in responding to the extraordinary and unparalleled challenges we currently face.
“We have made a strong start to the year.
“Although we remain cautious about the longer-term economic impact of Covid-19 and the continued uncertainty surrounding the ongoing Brexit negotiations, we are well positioned to address these challenges.
“Our outlook for the current year is unchanged and we have a solid platform from which to continue Cranswick’s successful long-term development.”
Shares in the company moved 2.3% higher to 3,706p in early trading.