Hilton Food Group reported an 8.8% increase in profit before tax for the first six months of the year

Hilton Food Group reported an 8.8% increase in profit before tax for the first six months of the year

Hilton Food Group has reported an increase in profits after benefiting from a recovery of higher raw material prices in the first half of the year.

The European meat packing business today (13 September) reported an 8.8% increase in profit before tax for the first six months of the year to reach GBP12.6m (US$19.9m).

Operating profit for the company stood at GBP13.2m, up 8.6% from the same period last year. This was due to improved performances in some markets and the "recovery of higher raw materials prices," the company said.

Turnover for the first half of the year increased 10.3% to reach GBP496.2m. The increase was also due to the recovery of higher raw material costs and "a favourable impact from currency translation," which accounted for 2% of the turnover increase.

Hilton Food Group chief executive Robert Watson said that despite the economic environment across Europe and rising raw material meat prices, trading over the first half has been "strong."

"We have achieved further growth in turnover and profits, while continuing to actively support our customers' growth in very competitive markets," he added.

Looking forward, the company said: "We will continue to explore opportunities for further geographical expansion and to expand our existing businesses through new product development and range extension."

The firm said it expects to meet its expectations for its 2011 financial year.

Click here to view the full earnings release.