UK meat manufacturer strengthens bonds with Europe

UK meat manufacturer Hilton Food Group has agreed a partnership with a Portuguese retail chain to strengthen its position in the European market.

Hilton Food Group, which has factories in four other European countries, announced that it has signed an agreement with Modelo Continente Hipermercados, also know as Sonae, to enter a period of co-operation for the supply of retail packaged fresh meat into their stores in Portugal.

The Huntingdon-based company recorded a volume growth of 5.5%, with growth in the UK, Ireland and Holland for Tesco and Albert Heijn with particularly strong Christmas trading.

In 2015 the company recorded a revenue of close to £1.1 billion with an operating profit of £29m, an increase of 11% on 2014 figures.

Under the terms of the agreement, Hilton will cooperate with Sonae for an initial period of six to nine months and aim to improve the production facilities located in Portugal.

Products supplied from the facility will include a wide range of packaged meat. The latest expansion news follows the successful partnership between Hilton and Woolworth’s supermarket chain in Australia since 2013.

“This is an exciting growth opportunity for Hilton Foods to work with Sonae, Portugal’s leading food retailer, utilising our tried and tested business model in the Portuguese market,” said Hilton CEO Robert Watson.

As we have previously demonstrated, our flexible and versatile business model enables us to meet local requirements with customers in each country and as such, we are able to enter new territories successfully.

We continue to look for further opportunities for geographic expansion.

Commercial Director for Sonae, Eunice Silva was pleased to be partnering with Hilton Foods and looked forward to the benefits and expertise that will enable Sonae to continue deliver a high-quality service at the best prices.

Hilton Food Group was set up in 1994 and opened its facilities in Ireland a decade later. They also have factories in Sweden, Poland and Denmark.