Hiltons UK and Ireland businesses remained “challenging”

Hilton's UK and Ireland businesses remained “challenging”

UK meat packer Hilton Food Group said its trading to date has been in line with expectations, despite "challenging" conditions in some markets.

In a trading update ahead of its AGM today (15 May), the meat group said it has made "good progress" in a number of markets in Western Europe. Hilton said it has recorded turnover growth in Sweden, and its Dutch business is benefiting from new product lines.

Its UK and Ireland businesses, however, remained "challenging", it said, while Central Europe where the firm supplies to seven countries performed "well".

Hilton said the group's financial position remains "strong", with no significant changes since the financial year-end when it booked a slight increase in profit boosted by higher sales.

The company said it continues to explore opportunities to grow the business in both domestic and overseas markets.

Hilton will issue a pre-close trading statement on 18 July.

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Hilton Food Group plc, Europe's leading specialist retail meat packing business, provides its Interim Management Statement for the period from 31st December 2012 to date, ahead of its Annual General Meeting to be held at noon today.

During the period, our performance has been in line with the Board's expectations. We have continued to benefit from our geographical diversity and grow the business, whilst as anticipated, challenging conditions for the consumer have been experienced in some markets.

In Western Europe we have made good progress in a number of markets. Our newest facility in Denmark is progressing well, and we are continuing to build up the volume of product that is being sorted by the new robotic store order picking facility. There has been turnover growth in Sweden, and the Dutch business is benefitting from new product lines. Both the UK and Ireland have remained challenging particularly given the well publicised industry issues faced in the first quarter and continuing difficult macro-economic conditions. Our business in Central Europe, where Hilton supplies customers in seven countries, has continued to perform well.

In Australia, the development work by the Joint Venture at Bunbury is proceeding in line with the agreed plan.

The Group's financial position remains strong, there being no significant changes to this position since the financial year end.

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 18th July 2013 and its Interim Results for the 28 weeks ended 14th July 2013 on 10th September 2013.


Original source: Hilton Food Group