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Cranswick's profit jumps on stay-at-home consumption boost, raises interim dividend

11/24/2020 | 03:15am

(Reuters) - Cranswick Plc posted a 31% jump in first-half profit on Tuesday as stuck-at-home consumers bought more of its pork and chicken products, encouraging the meat processor to increase its interim dividend.

Grocery retailers, having seen a severe slump in their food-to-go (parcel and takeaway) sector during the coronavirus-induced lockdowns, are now starting to see across the board recovery in demand, especially with the retail sector picking up in recent months.

The UK-based company noted that although it has made a strong start to the year, it remained cautious about the long-term economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and continued uncertainties surrounding the ongoing Brexit negotiations.

"The continued uncertainty over the nature of the UK's departure from the EU (European Union) and whether a Free Trade Agreement will or will not be achieved drives the risk of volatility within the Group's supply chains and uncertainty within the Group's customer base," the company said.

The company, which owns farms and supplies pork and chicken to British grocery retailers, reported adjusted group operating profit of 62 million pounds ($82.69 million) for the six months ended Sept. 26, compared with 47.4 million pounds a year ago.

It also increased its interim dividend for the year ending March 27, 2021 by 12% to 18.7 pence per share.

Cranswick, which supplied sandwiches and sausage rolls to UK's front line National Health Service (NHS) staff during the pandemic, said total revenue rose 21% in the reported period to 931.6 million pounds.

(Reporting by Aakash Jagadeesh Babu in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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