Kerry mulls more acquisitions as profits soar 66% to €195m

Kerry Group expects to make further acquisitions in the second half of the year and is continuing to review its UK consumer foods division, which could result in non-core asset disposals.

Brian Mehigan, chief financial officer, and Stan McCarthy, chief executive, Kerry Group. The group is still confident of meeting its previously-stated full-year targets of 6%-10% in adjusted earnings per share. Picture: Shane O'Neill

The Tralee-headquartered food and ingredients group said yesterday that it remained confident of meeting its previously-stated full-year targets of 6%-10% in adjusted earnings per share growth, despite seeing “significant headwinds” in the first half of the year.

The group’s half-year results — covering the six months to the end of June — yesterday showed broadly flat group revenues for the period, at just under €2.9bn. However, trading profit was up by 3%, on a year-on-year basis, at €274.7m and first-half post-tax profit soared by almost 66% to €194.7m.

Despite significantly negative currency movements, Kerry generated adjusted earnings per share of 115.2c, up by nearly 6% on the corresponding period last year.

Chief executive, Stan McCarthy described the financial and operational performance as being “solid” despite adverse currency movements and subdued developed markets, where consumer spending remained muted. Growth, as usual, was driven by the dominant ingredients division — with revenue here up by just under 5% to €2.13bn and trading profit ahead, year-on-year, by 4.9% at €251m. The lesser consumer foods business saw a 2.4% decline in profit to €62m and a near 1% drop in first-half revenues to €801m.

Kerry, which has identified a pipeline of acquisition opportunities and hopes to be more active in the second half of the year, said it was still reviewing its consumer foods business and could dispose of some brands, particularly in the UK, later in the year.


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