Kerry Group, the global taste & nutrition and consumer foods group, has revealed its business performance for the half year ended 30 June 2019, reporting that revenue increased by 10.7%, reflecting volume growth of 3.3%.
Group trading margin increased by 20bps, reflecting good growth driven by operating leverage, portfolio enhancement, efficiencies, impact of foreign currency and acquisitions, partially offset by Brexit risk management costs, investments for growth and increased net investment on the KerryExcel programme. Constant currency adjusted earnings per share increased by 8.4% to 164.1 cent (H1 2018 currency adjusted: 151.4 cent). Basic earnings per share increased by 5.6% to 135.5 cent (H1 2018: 128.3 cent). The interim dividend of 23.5 cent per share represents an increase of 11.9% over the 2018 interim dividend. The Group achieved free cash flow of €195m in the period (H1 2018: €201m).
Commenting on the results, Chief Executive Office Edmond Scanlon said: “We are pleased with business performance in the period, as the Group continued to deliver volume growth ahead of the market while expanding trading margins in line with expectations. While heightened consumer pricing and uncertainty impacted market volume growth rates in some developed markets, our unique and industry-leading business model and integrated taste and nutrition positioning continued to deliver significant value for our customers in meeting rapidly evolving consumer needs. We are excited by the ongoing enhancement of our product mix and the development of our innovation pipeline. Good progress has been made on the integration of recent acquisitions, which are performing very well. We are updating our guidance and expect to achieve growth in adjusted earnings per share of 7% to 9% in constant currency.”