Kerry Group increases guidance for 2015

Food group boosts revenues by 4.7% in H1 as it raises earnings forecasts and eyes up future investments

Kerry said that it now expects to achieve 6 to 9 per cent growth in adjusted earnings per share to a range of 296 to 304 cent per share in 2015.  (Photograph: Nick Bradshaw)

Kerry said that it now expects to achieve 6 to 9 per cent growth in adjusted earnings per share to a range of 296 to 304 cent per share in 2015. (Photograph: Nick Bradshaw)

 

Revenue at Irish food and ingredients group Kerry rose by 4.7 per cent in the first half of the year, as the group delivered continued business margin expansion and said it is now forecasting earnings growth of 6-9 per cent for the full year.

In the six months to June 30th 2015, revenues rose by 4.7 per cent to €3bn, with trading profits up 9 per cent to €299.5m. Business volumes were up 2.7 per cent in the period “reflecting a strong overall performance in American markets, an improved performance in the EMEA region and continuing good growth in Asia despite a slowdown in some regional markets”.

Chief executive Stan McCarthy said: “We delivered a strong financial performance in the first half of 2015 reporting continued business margin expansion and an 8.1 per cent increase in adjusted earnings per share. Based on Group year-to-date performance, current exchange rates and business momentum, we are increasing our market guidance for the full year”.

Kerry said it continues to benefit from snacking and convenience trends, and that improved economic conditions in the Irish and UK markets have boosted spend in some consumer categories. However it noted that food and beverage segments “remain highly competitive due to increased retail fragmentation and channel diversification”.

In Ireland, Kery’s Denny Gold Medal brand achieved strong growth year-on-year the company said, but noted that Galtee and Shaws’ brand shares were lower. While branded dairy spread volumes were lower, ‘Charleville’ gained strong brand growth in the cheese category, and Cheestrings achieved good growth in France, Germany and Poland.

Looking ahead, Kerry said it is “ well placed to respond to consumer trends and customer requirements in all geographies” .

“Our significant business structure and capability investment in recent years positions Kerry well for future growth through organic development of the group’s taste & nutrition platforms and developing market strategies - together with complimentary acquisition investments”.

Kerry said that it now expects to achieve 6 to 9 per cent growth in adjusted earnings per share to a range of 296 to 304 cent per share in 2015.

Kerry said it will pay an interim dividend of 15 cent per share, up by 11.1 per cent on 2014.