Kerry Group revenues steady despite challenging market conditions

Kerry Group revenue was broadly unchanged over the first half of the year at €3 billion reflecting good volume growth offset by significant currency movements and lower pricing relative to the same period 2015.

In its interim management report issued this morning it said global market conditions remain challenging with slower economic growth, currency volatility and continuing geopolitical instability in particular in many regional developing markets.

Key Highlights

  • Adjusted* EPS up 7.5% to 133.8 cent
  • Group revenue of €3 billion reflecting 3.2% business volume growth
  • Taste & Nutrition +3.5% volume growth
  • Consumer Foods +2.3% volume growth
  • Trading profit increased by 7.4% to €322m
  • Group trading margin up 70 basis points to 10.6%
  • Taste & Nutrition +70 bps to 12.8%
  • Consumer Foods +30 bps to 8.3%
  • Interim dividend per share increased by 12% to 16.8 cent
  • Free cash flow of €379m (H1 2015: €192m)
  • Earnings guidance for full year reaffirmed

Business volumes at Kerry grew by 3.2% in the period reflecting a strong performance in American markets, lower volume growth in the EMEA region in particular in regional developing markets, and strong business growth momentum in Asia.

Net pricing was 2.2% lower against a background of approximately 4% lower raw material costs. Currency headwinds relative to H1 2015 contributed an adverse 3.7% translation impact relative to revenue.

Taste and Nutrition achieved 3.5% growth in business volumes and pricing was 2.2% lower. Kerry Foods’ business volumes grew by 2.3% and pricing was reduced by 2.1%.

Group trading profit increased by 7.4% to €322m. The Group trading profit margin increased by 70 basis points to 10.6%. This reflects a 70 basis points improvement in trading margin in Taste & Nutrition to 12.8%, a 30 basis points improvement in Consumer Foods’ margin to 8.3%, and reduced spend on the Kerryconnect Programme contributed 10 basis points.

Impact of Brexit

Kerry said while it is too early to quantify the longer term implications of Brexit, the Group recognises the broader macroeconomic uncertainty caused by the UK electorate voting to leave the European Union.

It said consumer confidence has weakened as a result of this uncertainty but Kerry remains confident that our business is well positioned to address the challenges and opportunities that this decision may present.

Dividend

The Board has declared an interim dividend of 16.8 cent per share (an increase of 12% on the 2015 interim dividend of 15 cent) payable on November 18, 2016 to shareholders registered on the record date October 14, 2016.

Comment from the CEO

Commenting on the results Kerry Group Chief Executive Stan McCarthy said despite the challenging market landscape the Group delivered a solid financial performance in the first half of 2016, with continued margin expansion, strong cash generation and a 7.5% increase in adjusted earnings per share.

“While we are confident of delivering an underlying trading performance in the full year as previously guided; taking into account the increased currency headwinds of 5% at current exchange rates, growth in adjusted earnings per share in 2016 is expected to be towards the middle to lower end of the 6% to 10% range of 320 to 332 cent per share,” he said.