Hilton Food enters into joint venture with Woolworths

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LONDON (ShareCast) - Specialist meat packing business Hilton Food (LSE: HFG.L - news) has signed a joint venture agreement with Australia's largest retailer, Woolworths.

The deal has been established through a new company Woolworths Meat Co Pty, which is 50% owned by a new Hilton subsidiary, Hilton Foods Asia Pacific and 50% owned by Woolworths.

Woolworths Meat Co Pty will operate the Bunbury Meat Centre at Bunbury in Western Australia under an agreement commencing early this year.

Bunbury currently supplies beef, lamb and pork to 84 Woolworths stores in Western Australia.

In addition to its joint venture announcement, Hilton Food also published a trading statement citing "solid performances" in Western Europe in the 52 weeks to December 30th.

The group stated that it had performed in line with the board's expectations with "solid performances" in the UK and Ireland (OTC BB: IRLD - news) and the successful implementation of an automated store-order picking facility in Denmark.

Performance was steady in Sweden and Holland and the group reported that there had been continued development of the business in Central Europe.

Hilton Food's share price was unchanged at 290p at 13:48 on Thursday afternoon.

MF