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Home » Hilton Seafood Back In The Black After Challenging Year Dealing With Unprecedented Inflation

Hilton Seafood Back In The Black After Challenging Year Dealing With Unprecedented Inflation

A huge Grimsby seafood operation has returned to profit.

Hilton Food Group’s latest trading update has revealed the significant division is on track to deliver a positive cash flow for the wider business, a year on from major issues in the business.

Unprecedented raw material inflation as a result of Russian supply being lost to the industry led to a tough time for the former Seachill and Coldwater businesses, with the company underlining how price mitigation measures and passing rises through to retailers had taken longer than anticipated. It led to profit forecasts being reeled in for the FTSE-250 firm.

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Grimsby’s seafood sector ‘at the heart’ of health and levelling up solutions Spare capacity at Grimsby soup factory to help M&S gift one million meals to the most needy May saw the business declare it was back on track with improvement and cost saving targets implemented. It included the closure of its traditional fish smoking operation in the town. Jobs were absorbed at the other plants. Now, with a new managing director also installed, the picture is far rosier.

A spokesperson said: “The turnaround of our UK Seafood business continues to deliver against our operating performance targets with the business delivering operating profitability in Q3 and also on track to do so for the full year.”

It comes as the wider business – launched in red meat and diversified over recent years – underlined how “robust financial performance and strong operational progress seen in the first half of the year has continued into the third quarter, with trading in line with the board’s expectations”.

“Revenue in the period is ahead of the prior year, which includes the continued impact of raw material price increases, while also reflecting the continued strong performance in Asia-Pacific, strength in our core meat category, and the benefits of a full year of trading of Foppen following its acquisition in 2022.”

The latter was the Dutch seafood business integrated into the division.

Chris Hayes was appointed as MD in August, following the departure of Andre van der Padt. He had taken on the role following the acquisition of the Dutch business he had headed – Foppen – but left earlier this year.

Hilton, headquartered in Cambridgeshire, employs around 1,400 people in the town, split between Great Grimsby Business Park and South Humberside Industrial Estate.

Full year results are expected in January, with trading described as in line with the board expaectations. Delight at the long-term supply agreement with Walmart in Canada was also underlined, with seafood production to be launched across the Atlantic, as reported.

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