Kerry Group has released its preliminary results for the 2020 financial year, noting a reduction in profits for the year, due to a Covid-19 related reduction in volumes.

The agri-business reported a trading profit of €797.2 million, a reduction of 11.7% on the €902.7 million figure for 2019.

This reflected a 4% decrease in revenue, from €7.24 billion in 2019 to €6.95 billion in 2020.

EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) stood at €1 billion – a decrease from €1.1 billion in 2019 – and an EBITDA margin of 14.4% (compared to 15.1% in 2019).

Adjusted earnings after taxation stood at €611.3 million, a 12.2% reduction on the €696 million figure for 2019.

The company saw a slight reduction in net debt in 2020, down to €1.95 billion from €1.97 billion in 2019.

Kerry reported a final dividend per share of 60.6c, and a total 2020 dividend of 86.5c, up 10.1% from 2019.

The group confirmed that it is conducting a strategic review of its dairy-related businesses in Ireland and the UK.

Kerry said that there is “no certainty” that this review will lead to a transaction, and that further communication will be made in due course “as appropriate”.

Responding to these figures, Edmund Scanlon, Kerry Group CEO, said: “This has been a truly unique year, with the daily lives of people across the world profoundly impacted by the Covid‐19 pandemic.

“Sustained strong growth was achieved in the retail channel… Performance in our foodservice channel was most significantly impacted in the second quarter, as the introduction of restrictions affected our customers’ operations,” Scanlon noted.

The CEO also noted that the business commenced the “strategic development” of its facility in the US state of Georgia.

We completed a number of key acquisitions aligned to our strategic growth priorities in the year, and have since announced our intention to acquire Biosearch Life [in Spain].

“While uncertainty from Covid-19 continues to impact our customers, consumers and industry, we will continue to co-create with our customers to meet accelerating consumer demands, and look forward to a year of strong recovery and good growth,” Scanlon concluded.