Tuesday, September 30, 2014

News: Profitable Crawshaw bringing home the bacon


Crawshaws, the Rotherham-based meat focused retailer whose share price has increased by 750% since November 2013, has reported increases in like for like sales and total sales, helping to increase profits by 21%.

The AIM-listed company has established its recovery in difficult High Street trading conditions and has recently signed a ten year lease on a new manufacturing and distribution facility at Hellaby. In July it announced details of the placing of new shares in a bid to raise nearly £9m to support the acceleration of its store opening programme.

In its financial results for the six months to July 31 2014, Crawshaw reported that trading remains strong with like for like sales up 12% in the half year as compared to a 5% increase in the same period the previous year. In addition, total sales for the first half have increased to £11.8m, up from £9.8m in 2013.

Despite further spending on new stores, margins improved. Gross profit increased by 21% to £5.2m (2013: £4.3m) and EBITDA (earning before taxes) increased to £0.9m (2013: £0.5m). Profit before tax more than doubled to £0.7m.

Established in 1954, the AIM-listed firm has been trading on the stock market since 2004. It was acquired by Felix Group plc in 2008. Previously based at Templeborough, it has 21 retail outlets throughout Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Humberside and two distribution centres, in Rotherham and Grimsby.

Crawshaw is moving onto Sandbeck Industrial Estate at Hellaby, occupying a 12,000 sq ft unit for the manufacture and distribution of specialist foods, utilising the existing facilities that were previously occupied by Buxton Foods.

The new factory and distribution centre in Rotherham will consolidate the two existing sites in Grimsby and Rotherham into the new facility. Crawshaw believe that the space at the new site will give it additional capacity and is better located, leading to a more productive and efficient operation. It will also include a factory shop that is set to open at the beginning of November.

The new site will provide Crawshaw with capacity to cater for 60 retail locations with the ambitious firm targeting 200 shops within eight years.

Richard Rose, chairman of Grawshaw Group, said: "Looking towards the second half of the year our core business is performing in line with expectations with like for like sales for the first eight weeks of the second half are up 5% and gross margin higher than our first half performance.

"The Board are very excited about our accelerated store opening programme and we are starting to build our resource and capability so that we are in a position to deliver opportunities through 2015."

The profitable company is now operating debt free and announced that the share placing generated net cash of £8.6m. A dividend of 10p per share is being proposed.

Crawhsaw website

Images: Crawhsaw


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