Food group Glanbia has reported greater-than-expected growth of 9% in adjusted earnings per share to 91 cent in its results for 2018.
In its results for the financial year ended December 29, 2018, the global nutrition group reported full-year revenue growth of more than 4% to €2.38bn.
It also announced a rise in its full-year dividend of 10% to 24.2c per share.
Siobhán Talbot, Group Managing Director, said the growth "was largely driven by strong volume growth across our business, in particular in the branded portfolio of GPN and the Nutritional Solutions component of GN".
She said: "Consumer demand for our brands and nutritional ingredients remains strong underpinned by positive long-term global health and wellness trends. Glanbia also delivered a strong cash performance with an operating cash conversion rate in 2018 of 92%.
"We continue to invest in expanding our business and its capabilities and we completed the acquisition of SlimFast in November 2018."
The company also announced the acquisition of Watson, a non-dairy ingredient solutions business headquartered in Connecticut, USA, for $89m.
Ms Talbot said: "Watson is a highly complementary addition to our Nutritional Solutions business and will help broaden our capabilities in the ingredients sector.
"We continue to drive sustainable growth and are on track to deliver our 2022 strategic ambitions. The outlook for 2019 is positive and Glanbia expects to deliver 5% to 8% growth in adjusted earnings per share, constant currency.
"If the Euro to US Dollar exchange rate remains at current levels, the reported 2019 result will be 3% higher than the constant currency outlook.”