Kerry profits up 10% in 2015 to €700m – share dividend up to 50c

Trading profit at Kerry Group plc increased by 10% to €700m, in 2015, according to the global taste and nutrition and consumer foods group’s, preliminary results for 2015.

It says the group businesses continued to outperform market growth rates in last year.

Sales revenue on a reported basis increased by 6.1% to €6.1 billion, while it also says business volumes progressively improved during the year delivering 3.8% year-on-year growth.

According to Kerry, this performance reflected continued strong market development in American markets, an improved performance in the EMEA region and good growth in Asia despite lower economic growth in some regional developing markets.

Pricing declined by 2.2% against a background of approximately 4.5% lower raw material costs. Currency movements contributed a positive 6.9% translation impact to revenue.

Highlights

  • Adjusted EPS* up 8.2% to 301.9 cent
  • Group revenue of €6.1 billion reflecting 3.8% business volume growth
    • Taste & Nutrition €4.7 billion, +4% volume growth
    • Consumer Foods €1.5 billion, +3% volume growth
  • Trading profit increased by 10% to €700m
  • Group trading margin up 40 basis points to 11.5%
    • Taste & Nutrition +40 basis points to 14.1%
    • Consumer Foods +20 basis points to 8.5%
  • Final dividend per share of 35 cent (Total 2015 dividend up 11.1% to 50 cent)
  • Free cash flow of €453m (2014: €303m)

Taste & Nutrition achieved 4% growth in business volumes and pricing was 2.3% lower. Kerry Foods business volumes grew by 3% and pricing reduced by 1.9%.

In its statement this morning, the group says its trading performance was again assisted by 1 Kerry efficiency programmes, improved product mix and the repositioned Kerry Foods business portfolio. Group trading profit increased by 10% to €700m.

Dividend

Kerry reports that basic earnings per share increased by 9.4% to 298.7 cent. Adjusted earnings per share increased by 8.2% to 301.9c (2014: 278.9c).

The Board is recommending a final dividend of 35c/share, an increase of 11.1% on the 2014 final dividend.

Together with the interim dividend of 15c/share, this brings the total dividend for the year to 50c, an increase of 11.1% on 2014.

Expenditure on research and development in 2015 increased to €234m (2014: €197m). Net capital expenditure amounted to €229m (2014: €257m). The Group achieved a free cash flow of €453m (2014: €303m).

Comment from the CEO

Kerry Group Chief Executive Stan McCarthy said in a record year of business development in 2015, the Group achieved a strong financial performance, delivering continued business margin expansion and 8.2% growth in adjusted earnings per share.

Kerry Group
Kerry Group CEO Stan McCarthy.

“Our industry-leading technologies are well-positioned to meet today’s consumer and customer requirements.

“We expect to achieve 6% to 10% growth in adjusted earnings per share in 2016 taking into account a 3% currency headwind at today’s exchange rates”.