Kerry reports sluggish start to the year

Thursday 01 May 2014 18.31
Kerry Group's chief executive Stan McCarthy
Kerry Group's chief executive Stan McCarthy

Kerry Group said it had achieved a satisfactory performance in the first three months of the year despite "challenging conditions" in many markets.

In a trading statement ahead of its AGM today, the group said that after a fairly "sluggish" start to the year, all of its business regions reported a better performance in the latter part of the quarter.

Kerry said that the consumer foods market in Ireland and the UK remained subdued, but its flagship brands performed well.

Reported revenues for the three month period fell by 1.7% due to what the company called significant currency headwinds. It said that group wide continuing business volumes rose by 2.9%.

Kerry shares closed more than 2.8% lower in Dublin trade today.

Its ingredients and flavours business saw sales growth of 4.4% during the first quarter, while consumer foods sales inched 0.2% higher. 

It said it expects to see 6-10% growth in adjusted earnings per share to a range of 273 to 284 cent per share this year, as it had guided previously.