Hilton Food Group’s revenue has surpassed its pandemic figure, due in part to the boom in vegan and vegetarian food demand.
Revenue jumped more than 21 per cent to £3.3bn in the year to 2 January, up from £2.7bn in 2020, according to the group’s preliminary results today.
Growth in its protein categories fuelled the revenue boost, with vegan and vegetarian food volumes swelling over 26 per cent between 2019 and 2021. Meanwhile, meat and seafood food volumes increased by 14 per cent.
The London-listed group’s revenue was also carried by rising demand for easier meals, over the two-year period where people were increasingly homebound and unable to dine-out during Covid-19 lockdowns.
The group last year snapped up vegan and vegetarian producer Dalco, which operates out of the Netherlands. Hilton also acquired smoked salmon producer Foppen last month, as it moves into the North American market for the first time.
It marks a significant period of growth for the group, which has been branching out into new geographies outside of the UK.
“This has been a year of delivery and diversification,” said chief executive Philip Heffer. “Put simply, we want to offer all the proteins people want to put on their plates, in home and out of home, not just in Europe and Asia, but in North America too.
“We already now generate more than two-thirds of our revenue, and three-quarters of our volume, outside the UK, and are therefore well placed to create long-term sustainable value, in spite of short-term challenges or market headwinds. While those headwinds persist, our model positions us well.”
The business has also proposed a final dividend of 21.5p, taking total the dividend for 2021 to 29.7p, up from 2020’s 26.0p.
Director at Edison Group, Sara Welford, said: “With a diversified product portfolio, and a recent growth in revenue from outside the UK, the group is in a good position to achieve sustainable levels of growth going forward. However, with retail markets still fragile and an increase in packaging and shipment costs , Hilton Foods still faces a challenging year ahead.”