Shares in Hilton Food Group increased nearly 6 per cent after trading performed ahead of expectations

Courtney Goldsmith
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Britain's leading meat packer says its well positioned for further expansion
Britain's leading meat packer says its well positioned for further expansion (Source: Getty)

Hilton Food Group's shares jumped up today after the international meat packer said its results would surpass expectations.

Shares in the UK's leading meat packing business increased 5.93 per cent to 670p in afternoon trading after it released an update ahead of its full-year results, which will be released 30 March.

The group outperformed expectations as it grew in multiple markets and benefited from foreign currencies, causing analysts at Panmure Gordon to edge their pre-tax profit estimate up by about one per cent.

Read more: Hilton agrees to a meaty joint venture with Portugal's top food retailer

Last year, the group worked to grow its UK business, which made up about 38 per cent of the company's sales in 2015. Hilton said the UK performed well in its last quarter.

Sales in Sweden and Holland were up slightly, while sales in Denmark were down just below expectations due to low consumer demand.

In December, Hilton announced a new joint venture with Portugal's leading food retailer, Sonae, called SOHI Meat Solutions.

Panmure Gordon analyst Peter Smedley said the joint venture could increase profits by four percent in 2017 and six per cent in 2018. Once operating at full capacity, SOHI Meat Solutions could add €3m (£2.6m) in 2019.

Hilton said its joint venture in Australia is making good progress. Its plant in Victoria delivered strong year-on-year growth as expected, and the British company is preparing for a new production facility in Queensland.

Read more: Hilton Food Group ups dividend payout after year of expansion

Hilton's outlook for 2017 remains positive as expansion plans take shape. It remains well positioned to deliver continued growth over the medium term and will continue to explore opportunities to develop its business in both domestic and overseas markets further.

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