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Agri-foods sector to grow this year

THE agri-foods sector will continue to grow this year as growth in the US boosts business here, says Bloxham Stockbrokers.

In a note to clients the broker said emerging market growth, lower financing costs, share buybacks, cost restructuring and less input cost pressure were "all factors expected to drive financial results".

Since the recession, the food sector has been earmarked as the one to lead the recovery -- with most firms in the business posting strong growth -- and this year is expected to be no different.

"Consensus forecasts for US food manufacturers point to a 4pc revenue advance and a 10pc lift in earnings per share during 2012," said Bloxhams.

"We expect similar issues to dominate Irish agri-food companies as the year progresses. Both (the speciality baker) Aryzta and Kerry should enjoy continued emerging market growth, positive effects from acquisitions, lower raw-material input cost pressure and the benefits from restructuring initiatives announced during 2011."

Davy Stockbrokers named Kerry Group and Glanbia as two of its "top picks for the year".

Irish Independent