European ingredients unit pushes growth for Kerry

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Ingredients group kerry, Nutrition

All round gains in flavours, speciality, and dairy ingredients help
Irish ingredients group Kerry face "highly competitive trading
conditions" and contribute to the 12.8 per cent rise in first-half
profit.

The firm that makes finished food products as well as a large gamut of ingredients posted a first-half pre-tax profit of €130.9 million, with sales up 8.3 per cent to €2.1 billion.

Reflecting an industry-wide pattern, Kerry cited "significant input costs" linked to an increase in energy and raw material costs as exacerbating an already competitive working environment.

But fresh figures released today show the firm is managing to face off these pressures, aided by particularly strong growth in its European ingredients business that posted a 12.1 per cent growth in sales revenue to €1.4 billion for the first half.

"Continued growth in premium categories in the prepared meals sector provided solid development opportunities for Kerry's ingredients, flavours and culinary offerings," reports the firm.

Still in Europe, development of dairy proteins and speciality ingredients from the Listowel and Charleville operations continued to yield good results.

And progress achieved through protein hydrolysate applications in infant foods and in nutrient therapy also boosted the bottom line. In addition the firm claims "continued progress has been achieved through fermented ingredients in European markets."

Tapping into the soaring functional food trend, Kerry said its Sports and Lifestyle Nutrition business unit had "achieved good progress in European sports, dietetic, health and wellness markets."

Elsewhere, the US ingredients operations, still recovering from the decline in the low-carb phenomenon in 2004, saw revenues increase by 6.5 per cent to €573, reflecting growth of 2.6 per cent on the year before.

Kerry highlights that demand in the US for soy-based systems and functional lines "improved to encouraging levels".

Spearing growth in the burgeoning Chinese market, in March Kerry cleared the acquisition of ingredients firm Hangzhou Lanli Food Industry.

The deal improves the Irish company's offering of sectoral ingredients for nutritional, dairy, flavoured noodle, brewing, flavoured beverage, snack and baking segments in this "fast growing consumer marketplace."

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