Hilton FG meat

Top story

Meat and fish processor Hilton Food Group has benefitted from a “strong” Easter in the UK and Ireland, pushing volumes and revenues higher in 2024.

Momentum in the turnaround of its UK seafood business also continued in the first five months of the year, according to a trading update this morning ahead of the group’s AGM later today.

Overall group trading was in line with the board’s expectations, with volumes and sales ahead of the same period last year, despite sales growth in some of markets being impacted by lower raw material prices.

“The business remains well-positioned for the year ahead despite the continued challenging market environment and economic conditions,” the short statement added.

“Our short and medium-term growth prospects are underpinned by the strength of our multi-category offer and continued progress in our UK seafood business.

“We are well placed to deliver long-term value to all stakeholders through our customer partnerships and with our strong financial position we continue to explore further growth opportunities and wider geographic expansion.”

Morning update

The FTSE 100 started the week in positive territory, rising 0.2% to 8,438.43pts.

Shares in Hilton dropped 2% to 921p despite the robust trading update.

Other fallers this morning include Virgin Wines, down 3.7% to 46.3p, and Premier Foods, down 1.2% to 174.2p.

Early risers include Glanbia, soring 9.4% to €18.44, with Science in Sport up 1.4% to 17.5p.

This week in the City

Meat processor Cranswick kicks off tomorrow with annual results, while food-to-go specialist Greencore and airport and rail station caterer SSP Group put out interims. The latest Kantar grocery market share data is also due to be released.

Marks & Spencer is set to report full-year results on Wednesday as it looks to maintain the momentum of an impressive tunrnaround. Alcoholic drinks supplier C&C Group will also report preliminaries on Wednesday, with pubco Mitchells & Butlers publishing half-year numbers. And the latest inflation figures for the UK are also due out.

Thursday brings full-year results from ingredients supplier Tate & Lyle.

The week ends with the latest monthly retail sales figures from the ONS and the closely watched GfK consumer confidence index.