Hilton Food grows revenue and profit in 2016

Strong volume growth in the UK has helped Hilton Food Group to a successful 2016. 

In its results for the 52 weeks to 1 January 2017, the company’s Western Europe division, which comprises the UK, Ireland, Holland, Sweden and Denmark, reported a volume sales growth of 3.8% compared to the same period the previous year. Sales grew by 7%, driven by the launch of Hilton Food Solutions, a new meat trading business. The division’s operating profit was £35.9 million (m), up from £32.1m in 2015.

This growth was driven by “good volume growth in the UK and encouraging growth in our Irish business”.

Overall, the group’s operating profit grew by 18.4% compared to the previous year, while volume sales grew 7.4%, largely driven by activity in Australia.

Chief executive Robert Watson attributed the successful year to increased capacity in Australia. “2016 was a very strong year as Hilton continued to make good progress with volume and profit growth, range extension and the launch of a meat trading business despite competitive market conditions. The conclusion of a joint venture in Portugal and the development of a further factory in Australia demonstrates our geographical and operational growth and we continue to explore further expansion opportunities.”

Looking ahead, he said: “The medium-term outlook for Hilton is positive with the commencement of the Portugal joint venture company and the planning phase for the new Queensland factory in Australia under way. With these new projects and continued focus on product development and range extension Hilton is confident of making further progress.”

Watson added that an increase in centralised packing operations introduced by grocery retail markets around the world will “give rise to a wide range of potential future geographical expansion opportunities for Hilton, but inevitably in a range of different timescales as markets develop and change over time”.

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