Hilton Food Group Announces New Belgium Business, Posts Profit Growth
Hilton Food Group has announced a 13.8% increase in adjusted operating profit at constant currency levels in its financial year 2019.
The group posted a revenue increase of 11.0% to £1.81 billion (€2.05 billion) in the period, up from £1.65 billion the previous year.
Announcing its full-year results, Hilton Food Group said that it has announced an agreement to pack red meat for Ahold Delhaize in Belgium, with a facility due to open in the country in September 2020.
The site will pack beef, pork and lamb for approximately 800 stores in Belgium and Luxembourg.
This is on top of a new fresh convenience foods site that recently opened in Poland, as well as a new facility in Brisbane, Australia, at which volume 'ramp up [is] under way' the group said.
During the course of 2019, Hilton announced an investment in vegetarian product manufacturer Dalco, as well as sous vide manufacturer SV Cuisine.
It also increased the amount of red meat it packs for UK retail giant Tesco, in a major contract boost.
'Grow and Diversify'
"In 2019, we successfully executed our strategy of continuing to grow and diversify our offering with the opening of our biggest factory yet in Brisbane, Australia, a move into other high growth proteins including vegetarian and sous vide, building on our existing retailer partner relationships and investing in our facilities," commented Hilton Food Group's executive chairman Robert Watson.
"We continue to grow volumes and profit and explore opportunities to develop our cross-category business in both our domestic and overseas markets."
Looking ahead, Hilton has made a £99 million investment in its facilities to support the future growth of the business.
On COVID-19, the group said that it is 'confident' that its local operating model and financial strength puts it in a strong position.
Commenting on the business' performance, analyst Darren Shirley of Shore Capital said, "Taking all the moving parts outlined above onboard, and noting the new facility to come in Belgium (likely to be modestly loss-making in year 1), we leave our FY2020 forecasts unchanged, looking for CPTP of £54.0m, EPS of 49.1p.
"We do see forecast upside from demand conditioned by the current lockdown conditions if they are sustained for an extended period, though we also highlight that extra costs to facilitate volume growth will be being incurred."
© 2020 ESM – European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.