UK: Hilton Q3 remains on-track
By Katy Askew | 5 November 2013
Hilton remains on-track
Meat firm Hilton Food Group has said its third-quarter trading performance was "in line" with expectations, with a recovery in the UK and good progress in Australia boosting the result.
In an interim management statement released today (5 November), Hilton said it made "good progress" in western Europe, with growing volumes in Denmark, new product launches in Holland and a pick up in trading conditions in the UK. However, the firm added that its Irish business "has not yet resumed growth".
Elsewhere, in central Europe Hilton said trading was "in line" and in Australia the company has made "good progress" in its fledgling joint venture with retailer Woolworths Ltd.
Hilton emphasised that, with its strong finacial position, it "continues to explore opportunities to grow the business" in the UK and overseas.
Commenting on the trading update, Shore Capital analyst Darren Shirley said he expected third quarter trading "similar to the c9% revenue growth (constant currency) reported for H1". Volumes, he said, were expected to remain in the low single-digits.
Looking to the full year, Shirley forecast pre-tax profit of GBP25.0m and EPS of 25.2p, after GBP1m cost associated with Australian business.
Hilton Food Group plc 5th November 2013
INTERIM MANAGEMENT STATEMENT
Hilton Food Group plc, Europe's leading specialist international meat packing business, provides its interim management statement for the period from 15th July 2013 to date.
Trading for the period across the Group's operations has been in line with the Board's expectations. In Western Europe we have continued to make good progress in a number of markets. In Denmark, where we added a new production line earlier this year, we have seen volumes continue to grow. In Holland, our business also continues to perform well, following the introduction of new product lines. We have also seen a recent pick-up in the UK performance, following a challenging first half. The Irish business has not yet resumed growth, reflecting the wider economic conditions in Ireland, whilst in Sweden performance has remained steady. In Central Europe, the Group's trading has been in line with our expectations.
Hilton's joint venture in Australia is making good progress. The development of the Bunbury facility is proceeding in line with our plans, with both pork and lamb now relaunched in new packaging formats and beef products to follow this month. In Victoria, the first steps have been taken in preparing for the construction of the new facility in Melbourne.
Overall, we are pleased by Hilton's progress this year. The Group's financial position remains strong and there has been no significant change to the balance sheet position since the half year. Hilton continues to explore opportunities to grow the business in both domestic and overseas markets.
The Group expects to issue a pre-close trading statement on 10th January 2014 and to announce its preliminary results for the 52 weeks ended 29th December 2013 on 27th March 2014.
Original source: Hilton Food Group
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