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Hilton Food hikes divi as volumes pick up ahead of Tesco boost

Pre-tax profits increased by 10% to £18.4mln. Cash generation was strong, with £16mln gross coming in
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Volumes pick up for Hilton

Meat packing and abattoir group Hilton Food PLC (LON:HFG) announced a healthy dividend hike as volumes picked up in Australia, Ireland, Sweden and Portugal to boost its latest half year.

Hilton has just won a contract to start to supply Tesco in Central Europe, but this was one of the weaker areas in the half year to June.

Volumes in total rose to 160,800 tonnes (148,000t), with sales overall 9% higher to £691mln.

Pre-tax profits increased by 10% to £18.4mln. Cash generation was strong, with £16mln gross coming in and the balance rising to £38.9mln.The dividend went up by almost 9% to 5p.

Hilton plans to a build new plant in Queensland and also one in Poland (for Tesco) and is making progress on both said Robert Watson, chief executive.

Work has started has started in Poland while planning approvals in Queensland are “well advanced.”

Operating profit rose 1.4% on a constant currency basis after absorbing start-up costs in Europe, initial Queensland costs and weaker trading in Central Europe.

Shares eased 1% to 751p.

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