By Daniel Hunter

Hull-based food group Cranswick have announced a 20% increase in half year profits.

The company, which has a number of production facilities across the region, said it would also continue to focus on product development.

For the six months ended September 30, Cranswick saw revenues increase by 6% to £418.6m. Profit before tax rose by 21% to £22.5m and earnings per share were up 23% to 35.8p.

"It is pleasing to report continued growth in sales, in what continues to be a difficult economic and consumer environment, reflecting the ongoing popularity of pork with the consumer, driven by both the versatility and the low relative price of pork to other proteins," Cranswick's chairman, Martin Davey, said.

"Rising input costs were a feature of trading during the period and this has continued into the second half, although efficiency improvements brought about by investment undertaken by the business and ongoing constructive pricing discussions with customers have helped offset the full impact of this.

"The strategy for the development of the business remains unchanged with future growth being generated by a combination of acquisitions and organic initiatives."

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