Barbecue season boosts Hilton Food Group UK turnover

Hilton Food Group (Hilton) has reported a growth in turnover in its UK division, thanks to trading-up and a good barbecue season. 

In its trading update for the 28 weeks ended 16 July 2017, it reported that performance had been in line with the board’s expectations.

“We have continued to grow the business, through additional volumes and close cooperation with our retail partners. The group has also benefited from the strength of the currencies in which it operates relative to sterling, which has offset the impact of start-up costs.”

Turnover in the UK grew relative to last year, “reflecting higher raw material prices and some trading up, as well as a good start to the barbecue season”.

Elsewhere, its Swedish and Irish business experienced “encouraging top-line growth” in the first half of the year, thanks to a new packaging format to extend shelf-life launched in the former, while in Ireland there has been a recovery in Republic of Ireland volumes as well as an expansion of the Ocado product range.

Holland “remains a challenging market” for the group, although it is focusing on new product and packaging development, whilst the Danish market is reported to be more stable.

In Central Europe, Hilton Food Group’s performance in the first half was adversely affected by new product start-up costs, as well as challenging market conditions.

The business’ Australian division saw double-digit volume growth from its joint venture covering Bunbury and Victoria, as well as the newly-opened Innovation Centre at the Victoria facility to support new product development. Its Portuguese wing is reported to be showing good progress.

Ahead of the interim results, the group reported that its “financial position remains strong” and it continues to “explore opportunities to invest in and to grow the business in both domestic and overseas markets”.

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