Hilton Food Group has reported an increase in profits for the full year, despite a fall in sales.

For the year ended 28 December, Hilton said sales fell 2.3% to GBP1.09bn (US$1.62m) from GBP1.12bn on the back of unfavourable exchange rate movements and the effect of lower raw material prices on selling prices.

Profit for the year was slightly higher at GBP19.6m compared with GBP19.4m a year earlier.

Operating profit increased to GBP26.1m versus GBP25.8m a year earlier.

CEO, Robert Watson said: "I am pleased to report that during 2014 Hilton made sound progress in underpinning its future growth strategy, including the continued development of our Australian joint venture and the major UK capacity expansion. The high level of investment made in our meat packing facilities in 2014 was essential to facilitate the group's planned future growth. We will continue to seek out available opportunities to progressively and profitably expand the scale and scope of our operations, employing a business model that remains resilient, relevant and internationally transferable."

Shore Capital analyst Clive Black recommended a "buy" rating. One of the reasons he advised was "the potential for Hilton to yet add to growth momentum from entry into additional markets".

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By GlobalData