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Kerry post 66pc after-tax profit rise

Thursday, August 07 10:25:41

Kerry Group this morning posted a robust set of earnings figures for the half year to the end of June, with after-tax profits up a whopping 65.8pc to E194.7m, earnings per share up 5.8pc to 115.2c on revenues of E2.9bn.

Sales volume growth registered a 2.7pc rise while trading profits rose by 3pc to E275m.

Commenting on the results Kerry Group Chief Executive Stan McCarthy said; "We are pleased to report a solid Groupwide performance in H1 2014 with good underlying sales growth and margin improvement. Notwithstanding significant adverse currency movements, adjusted earnings per share increased by 5.8pc to 115.2 cent. Our Kerry Global Technology and Innovation Centres continue to drive industry-leading innovation. We remain confident of delivering 6pc to 10pc growth in adjusted earnings per share in 2014 as previously guided."

Looking at Kerry's individual divisions, its food and ingredients unit posted trading profits that increased by 3pc on a reported basis to E275 million reflecting 7.1pc like-for-like growth.

It said its Irish brands faced intense competition from heavily promoted discounter and private label offerings. Performance in Kerry Foods' branded sausage and cooked meats segments was impacted as a result.

In a comparatively weak overall marketplace, Kerry's taste and nutrition platforms outperformed market growth rates in all regions. Functional ingredients & actives recorded strong growth in particular in nutrition sectors. Growth continued to accelerate in developing markets despite economic impacts of significant negative currency movements, Kerry said.

At the end of June, net debt stood at E1.1 billion an increase of E27 million relative to the December2013 position.

The net deficit for all defined benefit schemes (after deferred tax) was E277 million.

The Board has declared an interim dividend of 13.5 cent per share, an increase of 12.5pc on the 2013 interim dividend of 12 cent.

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