Retail meat-packing company Hilton Food Group has seen its business grow in a number existing and new markets in the past year.
This is according to a trading update for 2017, released by the group today, ahead of its full-year results on 28 March.
Hilton noted that in Western Europe, it saw higher turnover particularly in the UK and Ireland, while sales were slightly up in Sweden and Denmark. In the Netherlands, sales were lower, reflecting consumer demand, but the business has continued to perform well.
In Central Europe, performance improved in the second half of the year, as the company as adapted its business model to the local sector.
Hilton says that its recent joint venture in Australia is progressing well, and it has commenced construction on a new facility in Queensland.
It also expanded its cooperation with Woolwoorths Australia, having signed an agreement to construct a plant in Auckland, New Zealand, for Woolworth's subsidiary Progressive Enterprises.
In 2017, the group also complected its £80.8 million acquisition of Seachill, the UK business of seafood company Icelandic Group.
Hilton says that its trading outlook remains positive, with growth underpinned by the expansion in Australia, Portugal, Central Europe and New Zealand, as well as new opportunities arising from the Seachill acquisition.
The group says that its financial position is strong, allowing further expansion in the future, with opportunities to develop its business in both domestic and overseas markets.
Darren Shirley, consumer equity researcher at Shore Capital, said that he remains positive about Hilton Foods, "supported by improving visibility around its pipeline of growth through the entry into Australia, Portugal and New Zealand, the broadening of its fresh food capability in Central Europe (with Tesco) and most significantly, in the short to medium term, the Seachill acquisition."
© 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.