Food firms’ financial reports round-up

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Kettle Foods, Virgin Wines UK and Hilton Food Group posted financial results this week
Kettle Foods, Virgin Wines UK and Hilton Food Group posted financial results this week

Related tags financial report Meat & Seafood Drink

Kerry Foods, Virgin Wines and Hilton Food Group all posted trading updates this week, collected here in this round-up of food firm financial reports.

Kettle Foods smashes sales record

Kettle Foods announced sales had smashed the £100m mark for the first time, citing own-label sales and acquisitions as key drivers of growth.

Turnover for the manufacturer grew to £101m, up 31.4% from £76.8m, in the year ended 31 March 2022, bolstered by own-label contracts.

Operating profits at Kettle grew 145% to £1.3m while pre-tax profits more than doubled to £2.9m.

Owner Valeo Foods’ acquisition of tortilla chips maker It’s All Good at the end of 2020 also helped to boost Kettle’s top line.

The Group’s consolidated accounts reported revenue growth of 3% to €1.2bn (£1.1bn). However, pre-tax losses came in at €2.1m after being hit with €17.6m of exceptional costs relating to acquisitions and other one-off charges and €57.8m of finance costs related to bank borrowings and refinancing.

A statement from the bord of director’s read: “Valeo will continue to pursue growth through a focus on organic sales growth and maintaining its existing sales base, maximising sales margin performance through effective pricing and promotion strategies, leveraging the group’s purchasing power and maintaining an efficient cost base.

“Valeo will also continue its disciplined approach to value accretive M&A activity, which has been a significant driver of growth in recent years.”

Virgin Wines hit by operational difficulties

Direct to consumer wine supplier Virgin Wines UK provided a trading update for the six months ended 31 December 2022.

Total revenue for the Period was £33.7m (FY22: £40.5m), as despite strong rates of customer acquisition in the face of high inflation and cost-of-living pressures, sales were impacted by some one-off factors, particularly over the Christmas trading period. 

This included a pause on all marketing activities following the passing of the Queen in September (an impact of £1.7m on sales), a new warehouse management system creating operational difficulties and the double whammy of postal strikes and bad weather in the lead up to Christmas (an impact of £1.5m).

Jay Wright, chief executive at Virgin Wines, commented: “We are disappointed with our profitability performance over what has been a difficult trading period, which has been exacerbated by one-off exceptional circumstances. However, our underlying business model remains resilient as the consumer proposition continues to resonate strongly.

We are pleased to have attracted a significantly increased number of new customers onto our WineBank scheme, our strategic partnership with Saga has started promisingly and our other commercial partnerships continue to perform well. Whilst being mindful of the pressures on the business, especially with regards to the high inflationary landscape, we remain confident in our future prospects, driven by the ongoing strength of the brand, our unique offering and loyal customer base.’’

Hilton results in line with expectations

Meanwhile, Hilton Food Group reported that its full-year results – 52 weeks ended 1 January 2023 – were in line with the board of director’s expectations, with continued growth compared with the same period the prior year.

A strong Christmas trading period helped boost sales in the UK and Ireland as the manufacturer focused on a number of cost saving initiatives, including investment into automation.

“Given the recent trading performance and the Group's strengths, including a diversified product offering, state-of-the art facilities, our technology driven supply chain expertise, and our strong position in ESG, the Board remains confident in the outlook for 2023, despite the wider macro-economic challenges,”​ read the report.

“The Group's financial position continues to be strong with leverage and headroom at comfortable levels.”



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