Page last updated at 12:17 GMT, Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Sales sizzle for Lanarkshire sausage skin maker Devro

Woman eating sausage with chopsticks
Devro's sales in Japan have grown by 11% in the past year

The sausage has continued to have a good recession, according to the latest financial results from one of the world's leading sausage skin makers.

Devro, based at Moodiesburn in North Lanarkshire, reported pre-tax profits up 76% in 2009 to £26.9m.

It also reported a 20% rise in revenue to £220m, with sales volumes up 6%, as demand for sausages rose worldwide.

The firm is based in Lanarkshire but is expanding its factories in the Czech Republic and Australia.

In developed countries, it has benefited from the recession as people have traded down to cheaper meals, while in developing countries, the growth in meat consumption from increasingly prosperous consumers has also led to more sausages being sold.

Devro is the leading maker of collagen products for the food industry and is pushing to replace gut-based skins in many of the world's markets by developing casings closer to the characteristics of gut.

In Japan, that "gut conversion" has had particularly strong results, with the company's sales up 11% in the past year.

The world market for meat continues to expand, and we expect to see continuing growth in demand for casing
Peter Page

Sales in China were up 21% "due to continuing urbanisation and the displacement of low-value, plastic-cased, pasteurised products", according to the annual results announcement.

In Latin America sales volumes were up 26%.

But the recession hit sales in Russia, with trade customers struggling to pay Devro's bills, and volumes fell 10% last year.

Devro predicted the global market for food casings would grow by between 4% and 5% annually, in line with increased demand for protein and meat products.

Chief executive Peter Page said: "As the supplier of a key ingredient for a widely-consumed, affordable food product, we have a good balance of opportunities.

"The world market for meat continues to expand, and we expect to see continuing growth in demand for casings of 4 to 5% per annum, although with significant local and regional variations."

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