05 September 1997
Hillsdown gives red meat the chop

HILLSDOWN has decided to axe its red meat businesses. The sale of the Tendercut frozen meats subsidiary and Fairfax Meadow were said to be well advanced.

Towers Thompson, the international meat trading division, is expected to follow. Offerman, Bakx, Poupart and Strong & Fisher are also for sale. Other non-core businesses, such as Firstan and Formwood, will also be offloaded. The total price tag is expected to be about £55 million.

Hillsdown will be left to focus on divisions such as chilled foods, poultry and ambient food. It denied the BSE crisis had prompted its decision.

The group unveiled interim pre-tax profits up nearly 8% to £55.3m on flat turnover at £1.5bn. Poultry performed worse than the same period last year, despite savings of £4m in feed costs. This was partly because of restrictions on poultry producers following outbreaks of Newcastle disease, and partly because of higher manufacturing costs.

  • Financial Times 05/09/97 page 15 (Observer), page 18
  • The Times 05/09/97 page 23, page 26 (Tempus)
  • The Independent 05/09/97 page 22
  • The Guardian 05/09/97 page 21
  • The Daily Telegraph 05/09/97 page 28