Robust volume growth at Hilton Food Group

Food producer Hilton Food Group has revealed a “robust volume growth” in its interim results for the 28 weeks to 12 July 2015. 

Based in Huntingdon, Hilton has operations in The Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden, Poland and Denmark. It has also recently entered a joint venture agreement with Woolworths in Australia.

Latest figures show that volumes in Western Europe increased by 5.1%. This can be attributed to a now complete investment to expand capacity in the UK, which has increased volumes by 13%. Its Dutch operations have seen a growth in volume of 4%, while Ireland experienced a 13% volume increase.

Central Europe also performed well, driven by a 4.4% volume growth in Poland. “However, currency headwinds proved even more significant with actual sales down c15%,” according to the report.

The whole group experienced a respectable increase in volumes of 5% to 127.9k tonnes. Despite this, a “negative translational impact” of 7.7% meant value sales dipped 2.2% to £579.2 million.

Overall, Hilton Food Group has confirmed that the results are as expected, and therefore forecasts will remain unchanged at this point.

The report concluded that the company will continue to look for growth opportunities in new and existing markets.

Investment analyst company Shore Capital reiterated its advice to buy Hilton stock. Its analysts said: “Management remains understandably tight lipped about the who, where and when for future expansion opportunities. We did wonder if South Korea could be one such avenue, though maybe such an outcome has receded with the recent sale by Tesco of its Homeplus business.

“Whatever the future announcement we do believe that the market will welcome a further earnings enhancing step forward, as it has in the past, providing further fuel to the Hilton investment case.”

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