Kerry Group total dividend payments rise to 70.2c/share

Kerry Group has announced that its total dividend payments for 2018 stands at 70.2c/share, after a strong performance last year.

This figure is split between a final dividend of 49.2c and an interim dividend of 21.0c; combined, the total dividend is up 12% on the 2017 figure, the group says.

Kerry Group revealed its preliminary statement of results for 2018 today (Tuesday, February 19), which shows a total revenue of €6.6 billion – a 3.1% increase – coming off the back of a 3.5% growth in volume.

The group’s taste and nutrition division saw the highest volume growth – a 4.1% increase, after what it says was “substantial growth” in North America for that sector, as well as further strong performances in Latin America and Europe.

In terms of the consumer foods division, that sector saw slower volume growth at 1.1%, with “challenges” arising from changes in consumer sentiment; however, the group argues that the “underlying performance” has been solid.

Kerry Group’s free cash flow for the year was €447 million.

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 8.6% in constant currency.

Edmond Scanlon, the chief executive officer of Kerry Group, said: “This performance continues to highlight the uniqueness of Kerry’s business model in supporting customers, as consumers continue to look for innovation and drive further marketplace fragmentation.”

Scanlon also said that the strong growth in the taste and nutrition division – its most successful sector last year – was part of a concentrated effort to develop the division.

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.

Concluding, Scanlon outlined his expectations for 2019.

“In 2019 we expect to deliver adjusted earnings per share growth of 6% to 10% on a constant currency basis,” he said.