Kerry reports upbeat performance

Kerry Food Group has posted positive results for the 2014 financial year in what it has described as a rapidly changing environment.

The group posted a 2.4% increase in group revenue, while trading profit increased dramatically by €25 million to €636m, a 5.3% increase like-for-like.

The group’s UK brands, which include meat brands Wall’s Sausages and Mattessons performed “ahead of market growth”, chairman Michael Dowling stated.

During the year ending 31 December 2014, Wall’s microwaveable sausages were successfully relaunched as ‘Wall’s Ready Baked’ – with range extension to three flavours. Mattessons Fridge Raiders improved its brand positioning in the meat snacking sector – recording double-digit growth in the convenience channel and solid Q4 overall category performance, Dowling reported.

Commenting on the results Kerry Group chief executive Stan McCarthy said: “We recorded another year of good growth, business margin expansion and an 8.1% increase in adjusted earnings per share in 2014. The consumer environment across developed and developing markets is changing rapidly, but Kerry is well-positioned to capitalise on global growth opportunities. We expect to achieve another year of good growth in 2015.”

Dowling said that, despite a challenging environment and the impact of geopolitical issues, the group continued to successfully develop across its three strategic pillars – taste, nutrition and developing markets.”

However he added: “Changing consumer demographics and shopping behaviour are driving a paradigm shift in food and beverage consumption trends, impacting industry, retail and foodservice developments.

“While showing early signs of recovery, increased fragmentation and polarisation in the Irish and UK consumer foods markets contributed to increased competitiveness.”

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