In a trading update for the period from 16 July 2018 to date, it reported that “performance has been in line with the board’s expectations”.
It said: “We have continued to grow the business through additional volumes and close cooperation with our retail partners.”
In Western Europe, the business reported good progress in a number of markets. In the UK, its turnover has continued to grow relative to last year, driven predominantly by Seachill, while its Irish business has continued to experience “encouraging top-line growth”.
“In Seachill, we are pleased to have won new business to supply shellfish to Tesco, as well as to supply coated fish to Waitrose from March 2019. Turnover in Denmark remains broadly flat, with Sweden below prior year, though we have seen some volume improvement across the period. Although Holland remains a challenging market, our focus on new product and packaging development, as well as other initiatives, is providing support to our customers. The joint venture in Portugal is also continuing to show good progress.”
The business said that, in Central Europe, it has seen a sustained improvement in performance and reported that it has “made significant strategic progress with the recent announcement of a joint venture with Dalco, the Dutch vegetarian product company”.
In Australia, Hilton delivered double-digit volume growth, covering the joint venture in Bunbury and Victoria, as well as the satellite facility in Brisbane. The development work in relation to the new Queensland plant has continued ahead of plan, with production start-up now expected from the fourth quarter of 2019. Other highlights from the period included Hilton taking full operational control of the joint venture from 1 July 2018, with a full management team now in place for Hilton Foods Australia.