14 November 2011 – interim results

The leading UK supplier of pork products has announced interim results to 30 September which have shown a 6% increase in underlying revenue to £394m, although pre-tax profits fell to £18.5m (2010: £23.8m) due to higher input costs during the first three months of the period.  Although there was some recovery in the second quarter this was not enough to prevent profits falling.  Earnings per share fell to 29.2p (2010: 39.5p) but the interim dividend was raised to 9.0p (2010: 8.8p).  The fall in profits had been widely expected following the trading statement in July and a cautiously optimistic statement about the second half is encouraging.  Sales momentum increased during the period, with sales up by 3% in the first quarter and 7% in the second quarter and export sales also grew strongly.  We re-iterate our recommendation of BUY.