Hilton Food Group Sales Rise On Seachill Acquisition
Retail meat-packing company Hilton Food Group reported revenue of £1.35 billion in 2017, up 10.1% compared to the previous year, driven by a 10.4% volume increase.
Operating profit rose 11.6% to £34.3 million, and basic earnings per share were up 11% to 33.7p.
Hilton says that its performance was boosted by new acquisitions made during the year, such as its purchase of seafood company Seachill, as well as growth in the Australian and Irish markets.
"2017 was a transformational year and we achieved significant strategic progress," said Robert Watson, the group's chief executive.
"Hilton made good progress with volume and profit growth demonstrating our geographical and operational progress," he added. "This momentum has continued into 2018 and we continue to explore further expansion opportunities."
During the year, Hilton continued to expand its business in both Europe, and Australia and New Zealand.
The group signed a joint venture with Portuguese food retailer Sonae to supply a wide range of packaged beef, lamb and pork products, and made a deal with Tesco in Central Europe to produce fresh foods including sandwiches, pizza, ready meals and soups.
Most significantly, the group completed its £81 million acquisition of Seachill - the UK business of seafood company Icelandic Group - in November, adding a new protein to the Hilton's portfolio.
Looking at the southern hemisphere, Hilton expanded into New Zealand last year, with the construction of a new meat processing facility to supply Countdown Supermarkets, which is due to open in 2020.
Last month, the group also announced that it is restructuring its meat-processing joint venture with Australian retailer Woolworths, and Hilton Foods Australia will take full operational control of the retailer's Bunbury and Truganina plants from 1 July 2018.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.