UK food producer Cranswick plc has reported a net debt of £38 million at the end of the first financial quarter (June 30), increased from the £22 million reported on March 31 but down from the £55 million reported in the first quarter of 2011, according to the company's latest statement.

This increase reflects a seasonal uplift in working capital and cash spent on the acquisition of Kingston Foods Limited on June 29, according to the company. Sales for the three months to June 30 increased by 7.4 percent, to £209 million. During the period, all categories delivered robust growth and there were strong gains in sausage, bacon and continental products. There were further modest increases in pig prices during the period, though they remain below the peak of summer 2011, according to Cranswick. The impact has been absorbed through increased volumes and continued operating efficiencies.


"With experienced management at all levels of the group, a strong range of products, a well-invested asset base and a robust financial position, the board, while mindful of the continuing challenges facing the UK consumer, remains confident in the continued long-term success and development of the business," said the company.