Tesco meat packer Hilton Food Group has said it is “well positioned for future expansion”.

The company reported a “solid” performance in the UK and Ireland in its trading statement for the year to 30 December 2012, adding that it had a strong balance sheet and net debt close to its budgeted level. “We continue to explore further opportunities to develop our business in both domestic and overseas markets,” it said.

The trading environment across Europe was expected to remain challenging in 2013, with increasing competitive pressures in Central Europe, Hilton added. The group reported a steady performance in Sweden and Holland, while in Denmark its automated store order picking facility was running successfully and it was now picking a range of products packed for Coop Danmark by third-party producers.

The group also announced a joint venture with Australian retailer Woolworths – for more on this see this week’s edition of The Grocer.