Profits and revenue up at Kerry, but shareholder return falls
Total shareholder return at Kerry Group declined by 6.8pc in 2018, despite the company reporting an increase in revenue and profits.
The reduction in shareholder return reflected a general decline in global equity markets during the final quarter of last year, which arose from uncertainties due to global trade and Brexit, the company said in its results for 2018.
During the year, certain sourcing and production activities were relocated and other activities restructured as a consequence of Brexit in order to reduce the group's sterling transaction exposure. The charge relating to this in 2018 was €17.3m
In addition, the company also incurred costs associated with the integration of acquisitions.
Overall, and revenue and trading profit at Kerry increased by 3.1pc to €6.6bn and €805m respectively.
The group’s profit after tax fell to €540.5m from €588.5m the prior year.
Kerry’s taste & nutrition division reported a revenue increase of 3.7pc to €5.4bn, including volume growth of 4.1pc, pricing decrease of 0.5pc related to raw material deflation pass through.
Its consumer foods business reported revenue increased by 0.6pc to €1.3bn, including volume growth of 1.1pc, pricing decrease of 0.4pc related to raw material deflation pass through.
Edmond Scanlon, CEO of Kerry Group, said: "We are pleased with our performance in 2018, with volume growth well ahead of our markets, underlying margin expansion in line with expectations and adjusted earnings per share growth of 8.6pc in constant currency."
"We have also made good progress across our strategic growth priorities, including further developing our industry leading portfolio of taste and nutrition foundational technologies, completing a number of strategic acquisitions and investments aligned to growth priorities as planned."
During the year Kerry completed ten acquisitions for a total consideration of €502.2m. A further two acquisitions were announced during December 2018, and are expected to be completed in early 2019.