A LEADING food producer, which has a key factory in Bury, has announced a £43.5million deal to buy up a London rival.

Cranswick Continental Foods will take on an extra 250 staff with the acquistion of Wembley-based Katsouris Brothers.

The announcement comes as the outfit, which unveiled a £27million production hub in Roach Bank Road last year, has confirmed "encouraging" sales performance for the first quarter of 2019.

Steven Glover, Cranswick's company secretary, said: "Costas and Louis Constantinou, managing director and commercial director respectively, who have a wealth of experience in this attractive and fast-growing sector, will remain with the business.

"We welcome Costas, Louis and their team to Cranswick and look forward to working with them to develop the business further."

Revenues for Katsouris, up to June 30, were £68million, against pre-tax profits of £6million, with assets of £30million recorded.

Funding for the takeover has come from Cranswick's existing debt facilities, with a further £7million possibly payable, depending on the business' performance, before the end of September 2020.

Meanwhile revenues are said to be 1.5 per cent ahead for the first three months of this year for Cranswick, compared to a similar period in 2018.

Bosses are particularly pleased with export sales in the Far East, which followed increased demand in China due to an outbreak of Africa Swine Fever in the region.

Pig prices have also increased by 10 per cent in the UK, according to the firm, though they are still down comparatively on last year.

Production lines and warehousing for Cranswick were transferred from Trafford Park to Bury, with a contemporary cafe created for transferring and new staff.