Food packing business Hilton Food posted a 13% jump in full-year profit on Wednesday as volumes increased, in part thanks to recent acquisitions and joint ventures.
In the year to the end of December 2017, adjusted pre-tax profit rose to £37.4m from £33.2m the year before, with revenue up 10.1% to £1.36bn and volume 10.4% higher at 303,811 tonnes.
The company completed the £81m acquisition of UK-based fish processor Seachill back in November and since the year-end it has agreed to restructure the Australia joint venture and take full operational control of its two existing plants.
Hilton said its operating performance so far this year has been in line with the board's expectations and the group will continue to explore opportunities for further geographical expansion in both domestic and overseas markets.
It said the medium-term outlook is positive, with the integration of the Seachill business together with new factories in Queensland, Australia and New Zealand as well as business extension in Central Europe.
Chief executive officer Robert Watson said: "2017 was a transformational year and we achieved significant strategic progress. We entered into a new protein through the acquisition of Seachill as well as agreement to build a new facility in New Zealand and fresh food expansion in Central Europe.
"Hilton made good progress with volume and profit growth demonstrating our geographical and operational progress. This momentum has continued into 2018 and we continue to explore further expansion opportunities."
Shore Capital reiterated its 'buy' rating on the stock.
"We remain positive on Hilton Food Group, reflecting on strategic growth opportunities the group has established over the past 12-15 months noting new JVs in Portugal and New Zealand, the entry into fresh chilled prepared food in Central Europe, the decision to take full operational control/ownership in Australia (from July 2018) and the Seachill acquisition that provides considerable opportunity in a new, and significant protein.
"All such activities are supported by a strong balance sheet robust and sustainable cash flows, as evidenced by the FY2017 delivery."
At 0933 GMT, the shares
were up 1.9% to 784.84p.