Saturday 15 December 2018

Kerry Group shares up 3pc as it sticks with full-year guidance

CEO Edmond Scanlon. Photo: David Conachy
CEO Edmond Scanlon. Photo: David Conachy
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Shares in Kerry Group were trading up by more than 3pc yesterday afternoon after the group reaffirmed its full year guidance of adjusted earnings per share growth of 7pc to 10pc for 2018.

This comes as the company reported growth of 3.5pc in its business volumes in the nine months to September 30.

In a trading update yesterday the group said that its Taste & Nutrition business grew 4.1pc in the nine-month period, while its Consumer Foods business had growth of 1.2pc.

Davy analyst Liz Coen said that the stockbrokers did not anticipate any material revisions to its financial year 2018 earnings forecast for Kerry.

"We remain optimistic on future prospects for Kerry," Ms Coen said.

Reported sales increased by 2.2pc, and growth was recorded across all the regions that the group operates in.

The company said its underlying margin expansion was "good," however it was offset by the impact of currency fluctuations.

Kerry Group CEO Edmond Scanlon said he was "pleased" with the performance to date this year. "In the third quarter we have delivered good volume growth against very strong comparatives."

"We have also made good progress across our strategic growth priorities, including the recent acquisition announcements of Fleischmann's Vinegar Company and AATCO Food Industries," Mr Scanlon added.

Net debt stood at €1.4bn at the end of September.

Europe delivered a good performance for the group, with volume growth of 2.5pc. This was driven by beverages, led by demand for sugar-reduction technologies and natural extracts.

And in the Americas, Kerry enjoyed strong growth of 2.8pc, particularly in its meat category, as consumer demand for authentic flavours, clean label and a wider range of alternative protein-based products continued to drive new product innovations.

Snacks and beverages also generated good growth in the region.

Last month the business announced that it is to acquire Fleischmann's Vinegar Company and AATCO Food Industries for an expected total consideration of €365m.

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