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.
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.