Kerry: "businesses are well positioned to grow"

23 Feb 2018

Kerry has reported preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2017 with Group revenue of €6.4 billion reflecting 4.3% business volume growth.

Kerry: businesses are well positioned to grow

Kerry has reported preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2017. Group revenue of €6.4 billion reflected 4.3% business volume growth, with Taste & Nutrition comprising €5.2 billion (4.7% volume growth) and Consumer Foods €1.3 billion, (2.4% volume growth). Group trading margin was maintained at 12.2%. Adjusted EPS was up 5.5% to 341.2 cent (+9.4% on a constant currency basis).

Kerry Group said it achieved a strong volume driven business performance above market growth rates in 2017, reflecting the Group's foundational technology capabilities and speed of innovation in response to consumer and customer requirements. The global marketplace continues to change at an unrelenting pace, Kerry noted, driven by health & wellness demands, convenience trends, channel proliferation and in particular the growth of out-of-home food and beverage consumption with continued blurring of the landscape between food retail and 'food-to-go'. Nutritional labelling requirements and regulatory changes continue to drive demand for clean label offerings across all end-use-markets providing significant opportunities for differentiated product development.

In 2017 the company said that the adaptability and agility of the Kerry Business Model proved highly effective across the increasingly fragmented marketplace through multiple retail, foodservice and ecommerce channels. The Group's focus on profitable growth was further assisted by technology investment and industry-leading RD&A expenditure in Taste & Nutrition. Taste & Nutrition Technologies and Systems achieved sustained volume growth in North America, a good performance in Latin America, a solid recovery in the EMEA region and continued double digit growth in Asia.

In the Group's UK and Irish consumer foods markets, while Kerry Foods maintained a strong category and business development focus, benefiting in particular from the increased snacking and 'food-to-go' consumption trends, the underlying satisfactory divisional business performance was impacted by adverse sterling exchange rate movements.

Despite the changing market landscape and significant currency volatility, Kerry said its businesses are well positioned to continue to grow and develop profitability, and to achieve the Group's new medium term strategic financial targets as presented at its Capital Markets Day in October 2017. The Group expects its targets to be delivered through above industry average volume growth and continued business margin expansion. Kerry Taste & Nutrition is said to be well placed to deliver the continued organic growth of the business across developed and developing markets. In European consumer foods markets, the business will continue to focus on its 'strategic value creation model' through occasion led propositions in response to consumer, customer and channel requirements.

Kerry said that the Group is in a strong position to continue to invest in the organic growth of its global businesses and to lead the continued consolidation of the industry benefiting from the Group's strong balance sheet and scalable business model.

In 2018 the Group expects to deliver adjusted earnings per share growth of 6% to 10% on a constant currency basis.