For the six months to 30 June 2017, the group’s overall revenue increased by 4.8% to €3.2 billion (bn) while trading profit grew by 5.2% to €338 million (m).
The group saw success in the Americas region for its Taste & Nutrition range where sales rose 7.6% to €1.3bn, while volume sales rose 3.6%. This was driven by new ‘taste technologies’ such as Smoke & Grill. It also reported that its taste and nutrition technologies were well-positioned to meet increased consumer requirements for convenient, clean-label, natural, organic, gluten-free, non-GMO and meat-free solutions, together with enhanced natural food preservation.
In Asia-Pacific, business volumes grew by 10.3% and net pricing increased by 1.7%. Reported revenue in the region grew by 14.2% to €419m.
Takeovers will be ‘pursued’
The company’s UK and Ireland consumer foods division saw increased competition in the first half of the year. However, increased competition in the consumer goods marketplace in the UK and Ireland during this period resulted in a revenue decline of 2.8%, which was also affected by currency fluctuations. Business volumes in this division grew 2.3% and net pricing increased by 1.9%. It reported that “demand for nutritional tasteful convenience products continued to drive good growth” through meat and dairy snacking lines with its Mattessons performed well in meat snacking.
The relaunched Richmond brand performed “satisfactorily” and the Wall’s fresh sausage portfolio achieved good market penetration. Its Fire & Smoke brand maintained good development momentum in the UK and Irish sliced cooked meats categories. Denny branded lines also performed “satisfactorily” in Ireland. In May, Henry Denny’s Meat Masters was launched successfully in the premium meats sub-category.
On the Taste & Nutrition side, its sales in the EMEA region increased by 2.3% to €750m, with the division “performing well” in the UK market despite food and beverage inflationary trends and uncertainty following the UK electorate decision to leave the European Union.
In its outlook for the future, it said: “Group businesses are well positioned to meet customer and consumer needs in the changing marketplace and deliver sustained underlying growth. Kerry’s globally connected, localised Taste & Nutrition business model, supported by the Group’s Technology & Innovation Centre network, holds a strategic advantage in meeting customer requirements across all market channels in developed and developing markets.
“We continue to capitalise on out-of-home consumption trends and channel expansion. Prospects for sustained strong growth throughout Asian markets will be supported by deployment of increased resources. Organic and acquisition growth opportunities will continue to be pursued in all geographic regions.”