Posted on 04 April 2012.
Despite the difficult economic conditions, Hilton Food Group, Europe’s leading specialist retail meat packing business supplying major international food retailers in twelve countries, made good progress during 2011. The group has reported a 10% rise in profit before tax to £24.5 million as it increased the volumes of meat packed by 6% and revenue by 14% to £981.3 million for 2011. Revenue growth was driven by the start-up of a new packing facility in Denmark and comparatively strong economic conditions in Sweden and Central Europe.
Volume growth of 6.0% reflected the new business in Denmark as underlying volumes were slightly reduced, due to pressure on consumer spending levels in the face of increased meat prices. Continued strong cash generation has enabled the UK-based meat group to maintain a high level of investment in equipment and facilities, to underpin the growth of its businesses over the longer term.
The group has a strong balance sheet, with net debt level at £18.7 million only marginally increased, despite capital expenditure of £25.2 million in 2011, which included £14.6 million on the new Danish facilities. Indeed, over the eight years to December 2011, Hilton has invested over £140 million on developing its packing and storage facilities.
74% of the group’s revenue is now generated outside the UK, with 77% of the volume of meat packed outside the UK, in Northern and Central European countries.
Robert Watson OBE, chief executive of Hilton Food Group, comments: “Once again I am pleased to report that during 2011 Hilton has delivered a good performance, continuing to demonstrate the resilience of the group’s business model. Revenue growth was strong in 2011 and further success was achieved with new product and packaging initiatives. We have been able to maintain a high level of investment in our modern meat packing facilities across Europe, designed to keep them at state-of-the-art levels.”
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Posted on 15 September 2010.
UK-based Hilton Food Group, the leading specialist retail meat packing business supplying major international food retailers in Europe, has reported a strong underlying trading performance for the 28 weeks to July 18th 2010, with sales and profits up despite the difficult, pervading economic conditions across the continent.
Volumes grew overall by 11% and turnover increased by 5% to £449.9m, compared to the corresponding period the previous year. The turnover increase is below the level of volume gains, reflecting some reductions in average unit selling prices based on a decrease in raw material costs and product mix changes, together with the fact that the largest volume growth was achieved in Central Europe, where selling prices are much lower than in more mature European economies. The impact from currency translation was less than in previous years, accounting for only 1% of the turnover increase.
Robert Watson, chief executive of Hilton Food Group.
The operating profit margin was 2.7% (2.7% in the first 28 weeks of 2009) compared with 2.6% for the 53 weeks to January 3rd 2010. Operating profit for the first half of 2010, at £12.2m, was 5% ahead of the corresponding period in 2009. Operating profit benefited from the higher volumes, but was moderated by the effect of the lower raw material prices and product mix changes. Profit before taxation was £11.5m, reflecting the increase in operating profit and a reduction in finance charges.
“Despite the difficult and uncertain economic environment across Europe, our trading over the first 28 weeks of 2010 has been encouraging. We have continued to grow our business through new product initiatives, range extension and by achieving growth in developing markets, such as Central Europe, whilst our extensive and consistent capital investment over recent years has enabled us to continue supporting our customers’ growth in our longer established markets,” explains Robert Watson, chief executive of Hilton Food Group.
The new factory in Denmark is on schedule to start production in 2011 and the group is continuing to explore opportunities for further geographic expansion. Capital expenditure in the first half was £6.8m, including robotisation designed to enhance line speeds and throughputs and initial expenditure on equipment for the new facility in Denmark.
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