Kerry eyes earnings growth of 7-11% this year

Wednesday 01 May 2013 17.15
Kerry reports challenging business and consumer environment in its EMEA region
Kerry reports challenging business and consumer environment in its EMEA region

Kerry Group has said it expects to see 7-11% growth in adjusted earnings per share this year.

In an interim management statement issued ahead of its AGM today, Kerry said that it maintained a solid business development and financial performance in the three months to the end of March.

It said that while growth was ''constrained'' in some industry sectors in its developed markets, developing markets continued to provide a ''solid platform for sustainable growth''.

The company said that reported quarterly revenues rose by 0.6% and when adjusted for currency and the impact of mergers and acquisitions, like for like revenue grew by 0.4%.

See how Kerry Group shares performed in Dublin trade.

In its consumer foods division, Kerry said that while demand conditions in the Irish and UK consumer foods markets broadly stabilised, its performance was impacted by the challenges in cost recovery after ''significant'' raw material inflation.

It said that while its Kerry Food division was unaffected by the horsemeat DNA issues earlier this year, confidence in some market categories, including the frozen meals sector, was hit.

Kerry's branded sausage and rasher offering in Ireland ''performed well'' in the three month period, but sliced meats fell due to intense private label promotional activity. Its spreads offerings saw a strong performance.

Business volumes in Kerry's ingredients and flavours business maintained good growth in the first quarter of the year, with continuing business volumes up by 3.1%. Business volumes in the Americas grew by 2.8%, but the company reported a challenging business and consumer environment in its EMEA region.

Continuing business volumes jumped by 8.3% in the Asia Pacific region, an area which Kerry said provided ''excellent opportunities'' for its range of taste solutions, nutritional and functional ingredients.

''Despite currency headwinds and the raw material inflationary environment, the group expects to achieve 7% to 11% growth in adjusted earnings per share in 2013 to a range of 250 to 260 cent per share, as previously guided,'' the company's trading statement said.