Kerry Group made a €750m profit in 2016 – up 7.1% year on year.

The company had revenues of €6.1 billion, the majority of which came from its Taste and Nutrition division.

Outgoing CEO of Kerry Group Stan McCarthy said 2016 was a very successful year of growth for the company with strong volume growth across both businesses.

On Brexit, Mr McCarthy said Kerry’s commitment to the UK will remain the same.

“We are very well invested in the UK. We are very well invested globally with over 140 plants and that provides us with the infrastructure, the capability to be able to adjust whatever the outcomes are in regard to Brexit”.

He said “it is too early to call” if Kerry Group may move staff from the UK to Ireland due to Brexit, but he thinks the firm is “in a very good position to be able to adjust and maybe take advantage of opportunists that present themselves as well.”

The majority of Kerry Group’s revenue comes from its Taste & Nutrition division, with Mr McCarthy saying the company is benefitting from more health-conscious consumers.

“Today’s consumer is paying a lot more attention to nutrition, paying attention to what’s on the label in regards to the ingredients that are included in the product.

“It is that science and capability that exists within the organisation that enables our customers to grow their business and respond to their consumers”.

On his decision to step down as CEO, Mr McCarthy said it is the appropriate time for a change and that his replacement, Edmond Scanlon, is “the right guy to lead the organisation through the next phase”.

He sees globalisation versus nationalism as a considerable challenge going forward for companies like Kerry.

He also cited increased currency volatility and the future of the European Union as potential challenges for Kerry Group.