UK/AUS: Hilton, Woolworths Ltd establish JV
UK meat packer Hilton Foods Group said today (10 January) that it has entered into a joint venture agreement with Woolworths Ltd, Australia's largest supermarket.
The deal establishes a new company, Woolworths Meat Co, in which Hilton Foods subsidiary Hilton Foods Asia Pacific Lts holds a 50% stake.
The firm will operate the Bunbury Meat Centre, which currently supplies 84 Woolworths stores in Western Australia with a range of fresh meat including beef, lamb and pork and value added products.
"The board of Hilton believes that good opportunities exist for further collaboration with Woolworths in Australia through the new joint venture," Hilton said in a statement.
The UK meat group also revealed that its full-year performance was in line with expectations. The company said that its performance in the UK and Ireland was "solid" while sales in Sweden and Holland remained "steady". In Denmark, the group's automated picking facility is now successfully in place.
Hilton is scheduled to publish its full-year numbers on 28 March.
HILTON FOOD GROUP PLC
TRADING STATEMENT FOR THE 52 WEEKS ENDED 30th DECEMBER 2012
Hilton Food Group plc ("Hilton" or "Group"), Europe's leading specialist retail meat packing business, is today providing an update on trading for the 52 weeks ended 30th December 2012. The Group intends to publish its full year results on Thursday 28th March 2013.
We are pleased to report that the Group has performed in line with the Board's expectations. In Western Europe, we have seen solid performances in both the UK and Ireland, where we have supported our customers on a number of initiatives. Our performance in Sweden, where the local economy grew less rapidly than in 2011 has been steady, as it has been in Holland, where we have seen growth in the latter part of the year. In Denmark, the automated store-order picking facility is running successfully and we are also now picking by store a range of products packed for our customer by third party producers.
In Central Europe, we are pleased with the continued development of the business over the period, though more recently we have seen increasing competitive pressures in the market place.
The Group's balance sheet remains strong, with net debt close to budgeted level, leaving us well positioned for future expansion.The trading environment across Europe is expected to remain challenging in 2013, though Hilton remains well placed to deliver continued growth. We continue to explore further opportunities to develop our business in both domestic and overseas markets.
ANNOUNCEMENT OF JOINT VENTURE AGREEMENT WITH WOOLWORTHS LIMITED
Hilton Food Group plc is pleased to announce that it has entered into a joint venture agreement with Woolworths Limited ("Woolworths"), Australia's largest retailer. The joint venture has been established through a new company, Woolworths Meat Co Pty Ltd, which is 50 per cent owned by a new Hilton subsidiary, Hilton Foods Asia Pacific Limited, and 50 per cent owned by Woolworths.
Woolworths Meat Co Pty Ltd will operate the Bunbury Meat Centre at Bunbury, near Perth, Western Australia under an agreement commencing early in 2013. Bunbury currently supplies 84 Woolworths stores in Western Australia with a range of fresh meat including beef, lamb and pork and value added products.
The Board of Hilton believes that good opportunities exist for further collaboration with Woolworths in Australia through the new joint venture.
Original source: Hilton Food Group
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