Hillsdown postpones poultry sell-off

05 March 1999

Hillsdown postpones poultry sell-off

HILLSDOWN, the problem-hit food producer, has postponed plans to sell 450 poultry farms.

The company says it will make a new attempt to release some of the £200 million it has tied up in the loss-making poultry when market conditions have improved.

The group set out a radical re-organisation of its business last year, involving two demergers and a number of disposals.

The demergers took place in October but, since the sale of its poultry breeding and continental biscuits arm, the plan has almost ground to a halt.

The group reported a rise in 1998 pre-tax profits from £110 million to £123m, but it blamed a 20% decline in underlying operating profits to £80.2m partly on poultry.

Hillsdown had sold its Ross Breeders poultry-breeding subsidiary for £100m but the remaining poultry division lost £2.7m, against a £20.2m operating profit last time.

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