Hilton in-line with expectations

Hilton in-line with expectations

UK meat processor Hilton Food Group has said its full-year performance is "in line" with the board's expectations.

In a trading update released this morning (10 January), Hilton said new products in Holland, a new production line in Denmark and the group's performance in the UK acted as the "primary drivers" of turnover in Western Europe. However, the company continued to face weak demand in Ireland.

In central Europe, trading in the 12 months to 29 December held up in the face of "challenging market conditions", Hilton added.

Looking to the group's newly-established Australian joint venture the company said "good progress" was being made.

Hilton shares edged up 1.82% in early trade today. The group will report its full-year results on 27 March.

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Hilton Food Group plc ("Hilton" or the "Group"), Europe's leading specialist international  meat packing business, is today providing an update on trading for the 52 weeks ended 29th December  2013. The Group intends to publish its full year results on Thursday 27th March 2014.
We are pleased to report that the Group has performed in line with the Board's expectations. In Western Europe, new products in Holland,a new production line in Denmark and the performance of our UK business were the primary drivers of  turnover growth in that region. Growth in these countries was partly offset by weak demand in Ireland, which has not yet resumed growth and a steady performance in Sweden, reflecting economic conditions in the country. In Central Europe, the Group's trading has been in line with our expectations despite challenging market conditions.
Hilton's joint venture in Australia continues to make good progress. New packaging formats have been launched for pork, lamb and beef in Western Australia and a large part of the Bunbury plant reconfiguration has now been completed. In Victoria, preparation for the construction of the new facility in Melbourne is underway. We are also now providing support to Woolworths with the operation of its Brismeats facility near Brisbane.
As reported in our recent update regarding Western Europe made on 2nd  December 2013, we expect the impact of consumer weakness in Western Europe to be wholly offset over 2014 by the positive effect of our new agreement with Tesco in the UK, for which the full benefit is expected in subsequent years. The Group's balance sheet remains strong, leaving us well positioned for future expansion and we remain well placed to deliver continued growth over the medium term and will continue to explore further opportunities to develop our business in both domestic and overseas markets.

Original source: Hilton Food Group