Business up 3.5% in first nine months of the year at Kerry Group

Food ingredients company points to softening UK consumer environment in third quarter

Kerry Group HQ in Naas, Co Kildare. The company produces brands including Dairygold, Low Low, Denny and Galtee

Kerry Group HQ in Naas, Co Kildare. The company produces brands including Dairygold, Low Low, Denny and Galtee

 

Kerry Group said business volumes rose by 3.5 per cent in the first nine months of the year on Wednesday, as it reaffirmed its full-year earnings per share growth of 7 to 10 per cent.

In the nine months to September 30th, business volumes at Kerry Group, which produces brands including Dairygold, Low Low, Denny and Galtee, rose by 3.5 per cent, with a 4.1 per cent jump in taste and nutrition, and a 1.2 per cent increase in the group’s consumer foods division. Revenues rose by 2.2 per cent.

Pricing fell by 0.2 per cent, reflecting lower raw material prices on average across the period, but Kerry said the group trading margin was maintained.

In summary, we are encouraged by the progress we have made in 2018

Chief executive Edmond Scanlon said the group was “pleased” with performance to date in 2018, with volume growth well ahead of markets and underlying margin expansion in line with expectations.

“In the third quarter we have delivered good volume growth against very strong comparatives,” he said, adding that Kerry has also made good progress across its strategic growth priorities, including the recent acquisition announcements of Fleischmann’s Vinegar Company Inc and AATCO Food Industries.

“In summary, we are encouraged by the progress we have made in 2018 and reaffirm our full-year 2018 guidance of adjusted earnings per share growth of 7 per cent to 10 per cent in constant currency.”

In the group’s taste and nutrition division in north America, Kerry reported volume growth of 2.8 per cent, driven by meat, snacks and beverages. In Europe, volumes were up by 2.5 per cent, with food service performing well, while across the Asia Pacific region, volumes were up by 10.1 per cent as it delivered “excellent growth”.

In consumer foods, volume growth of 1.2 per cent was achieved, driven by good growth in the group’s “food to go” offering. However, Kerry pointed to a softening of the UK consumer environment in the third quarter.