A more muted profit forecast from UK meat processor Hilton Food Group sent shares in the Tesco and Ahold supplier down in early trading this morning (11 September).

After reporting flat half-year profits, Hilton said it now expects annual earnings to be “similar” to the year before. In March, Hilton said it was “well placed to deliver continued growth” for the year. 

For the 28 weeks to 15 July, Hilton booked net profit of GBP9.6m (US$15.4m), as it had a year earlier.

Operating profit inched up 0.5% to GBP13.3m but Hilton said consumers trading down to less expensive cuts of meat hit earnings. It also pointed to a decline in the value of key European currencies.

Turnover increased 9.4% to GBP543m on the back of a 10.3% gain in volumes. Hilton said it was benefiting from the first half-year’s contribution from a new facility in Denmark.

Shares in Hilton were down 3.28% at 288p at 10:18 BST.

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