Kerry Group said that it will still hit its 2014 earnings target despite what it described in an interim management statement as "challenging conditions in many markets".

The company said that its group revenue for the six months to the end of June came to €2.9 billion, while group trading profit increased by 3% to €275m, reflecting 7.1% like-for-like growth.

Adjusted earnings after tax increased by 5.9% to €203m, while basic earnings per share rose from 66.8 cent to 110.8 cent in the six month period. 

Kerry noted that consumers are opting for own-label brands from discounters such as Aldi and Lidl in greater numbers.

Kerry supplies own-label brands to supermarkets such as Tesco, Aldi and Sainsbury's, as well as standalone brands such as Low Low, Denny and Charleville cheese. 

In today's trading statement, the company said the market in Britain and Ireland remains very competitive with consumer spending subdued. It also noted adverse currency movements, especially in developing markets. 

Kerry also announced an interim dividend of 13.5 cent per share, up 12.5% in the same time last year.

But group chief executive Stan McCarthy said the company was pleased with its performance in the first six months of 2014. 

"Our Kerry Global Technology and Innovation Centres continue to drive industry-leading innovation. We remain confident of delivering 6% to 10% growth in adjusted earnings per share in 2014 as previously guided," Mr McCarthy added.