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21 May 2020 | 07:58

Hilton Food trading in line as demand rises

(Sharecast News) - Hilton Food said trading in 2020 was in line with its expectations after Covid-19 lockdowns increased consumer demand for food. The food packing company said sales of red meat rose strongly in the UK and Ireland because of increased consumer demand and the move to supply 100% of Tesco's red meat in the UK. The UK seafood business also did well as purchases shifted from fish counters to packed produce.

Business also grew in Scandinavia and the Netherlands. In central Europe demand for red meat and fresh food pushed turnover up. Sales also rose strongly in Australia, the FTSE 250 company said.

"Overall the group's trading has been in line with the board's expectations," Hilton said in an update before its annual general meeting. "During the lockdown period arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, we have experienced increased demand and have worked closely with our market leading retail customers to meet their requirements.

The company said it had also incurred extra costs to help protect its workers from coronavirus. It said its financial position was strong with credit facilities in place to cover expansion plans including buying Australian joint venture assets from Woolworths.

"Hilton continues to explore opportunities in which to invest and to grow the business both domestically and in overseas markets and we are also exploring a number of options for growth with our existing customers," the company said.

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