Revenue at Kerry Group increased by 4.8% to €3.2 billion during the first half of 2017.

Business volume growth was 3.8% against the backdrop of adverse currency moves.

Kerry's taste & nutrition (+4.2%) and consumer foods (+2.3%) divisions both saw strong volume growth.

Trading profit rose by 5.2% to €338m, while adjusted earnings per share were 7.5% higher at 143.8 cent.

The group's free cash flow fell by €22m to €357m, when compared with the end of June last year.

This was Stan McCarthy's last set of results as CEO, before he steps down from the role in October.

Commenting on the results, he said: "Against a background of significant adverse currency movements, we achieved a strong overall business performance in the first half of 2017, outperforming market growth rates and delivering a 7.5% increase in adjusted earnings per share.

"In February 2017 we guided growth in adjusted earnings per share of 5% to 9% at prevailing exchange rates.

"Taking into account increased currency translation headwinds of 4% and a 2% improvement in underlying performance at constant currency rates, we now expect to achieve growth in adjusted earnings per share of 3% to 7% on a reported basis to a range of 333.1 to 346 cent per share (2016: 323.4 cent)."
 

Kerry group shares are nearly 3% higher in Dublin trade today.