May 22, 2018 / 6:57 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Meat supplier Cranswick posts higher FY profit, raises dividend

(Adds details on dividend, capex, exports)

May 22 (Reuters) - British meat supplier Cranswick Plc reported on Tuesday a 22.4 percent jump in annual adjusted pretax profit, driven by growth across its product categories and exports to China, and said it would raise its dividend and invest more in its poultry business.

The pork and gourmet sausage maker, which bolstered its chicken business with two acquisitions over the past three years, said it received planning consent to build a new poultry processing facility in Suffolk.

Founded by Yorkshire pig farmers in the 1970s to make pig feed, Cranswick bought cooked-chicken specialist Benson Park in October 2014 and added Crown Chicken to its basket in 2016.

Cranswick said total revenue rose to 1.46 billion pounds ($1.96 billion) for the year ended March 31, from 1.24 billion pounds a year ago. Adjusted pretax profit rose to 92.4 million pounds from 75.5 million pounds a year earlier.

The company’s total export revenue, of which a large share comes from its pork exports to China, surged 30.2 percent in the year, while its revenue from Far Eastern markets declined 6.1 percent.

Cranswick said it would increase the final dividend to 38.6 pence per share from 31.0 pence. ($1 = 0.7449 pounds) (Reporting by Sangameswaran S and Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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