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Hilton Food Group posts growth in full year results

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Hilton Food Group posted its preliminary full year results for 2023. Image: Getty
Hilton Food Group posted its preliminary full year results for 2023. Image: Getty

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Meat processor Hilton Food Group has posted sales and profit growth for the year ended 31 December 2023 in its preliminary results, underpinned by the recovery of its seafood business and raw material costs driving up revenues.

Operating profit for the manufacturer was up 59.4% to £86.1m for the period, with sales worth £3.99bn – up 3.7% from 2022.

Profit across all regions the meat processor operates in was up, with the UK seeing the most significant jump in earnings during the reported period – more than doubling to £35.5m.

However, volumes decreased for Hilton last year in both the UK and Europe (3% and 2% respectively). Like many food and drink businesses, this decrease in volume was countered by an increase in raw material prices.

Asia-Pacific success

Despite this, Hilton’s operations in the Asia-Pacific region saw volumes increase by 7.2%, driven by the group’s partnership with Australia retailer Woolworths.

A strong turnaround of the manufacturer’s seafood business provided further support, returning to full year operating profit.

Commenting on the results, Hilton Foods chief executive Steve Murrells said: “Over the past year we've remained focused on executing our strategy which has resulted in a good performance against a challenging market.

“I am particularly pleased with the results in our seafood category, returning to full year operating profitability following a successful turnaround. Our core meat category performed strongly and we worked closely with customers to offer the highest quality and most relevant food products to consumers.”

Exceptional costs

Hilton continued to incur costs related to a fire at its facility in Belgium in 2021. Exceptional costs totalling £7.7m (2022 cost £9.5m) were recognised in the period relating to additional costs incurred in continuing to operate in Belgium, including the ongoing insurance and legal claim.

An exceptional impairment charge of £1.2m was recognised in relation to the closure of one of the groups vegan processing sites as it optimised production and drive efficiencies at a single factory to create a ‘centre of excellence’.

“As I set out at our investor day in November, Hilton Foods has the right attributes in place to unlock growth organically and with new customers thanks to our multi-category product offer, industry leading technology and rigorous sustainability credentials,” ​Murrells added.

I'd like to thank all our teams across our markets for their continued hard work and contribution over the year; we are well-placed as we look to the future.”

Meanwhile, supermarket chain Morrisons posted a 4.6% increase in like-for-like sales​ during the 13 weeks from 30 October 2023 to 28 January 2024.

Hilton Food Group results at a glance

 

52 weeks to                          31 December 2023

52 weeks to                          1 January 2023

Change reported

Change at constant currency

Volume (tonnes) 

517,347

513,816

0.7%

0.7%

Revenue

£3,989.5m

£3,847.6m

3.7%

5.7%

Adjusted operating profit

£95m

£71.1m

33.5%

34.7%

Adjusted profit before tax

£66m

£55.5m

19.0%

20.3%

Adjusted basic earnings per share

52.8p

45.1p

17.1%

17.9%

 

 

 

 

 

Statutory operating profit

£86.1m

£54m

59.4%

 

Statutory profit before tax

£48.6m

£29.6m

64.2%

 

Statutory basic earnings per share

 

 

40.6p

19.8p

105.1%

 

Related topics Meat, poultry & seafood Operations

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