Food technology and ingredients company Kerry Group has said it made a solid start to the year with overall business performance in line with expectations.
In an interim management statement, Kerry Group reported business volume growth of 3.3%, with growth of 3.8% in its Taste & Nutrition division and growth of 0.8% in its Consumer Foods division.
Kerry said that group revenues rose by 10.3% in the three months to the end of March.
It said that consumer demand for "food for life and well-being", "new taste experiences" and "made for me" continue to be the main drivers of innovation.
"The group continued to deliver volume growth ahead of the market while expanding trading margin. We are pleased with our innovation pipeline and the continued enhancement of our product mix," the company's chief executive Edmond Scanlon said.
He also said the company's recently announced acquisitions have performed very well.
"We are encouraged by our progress in the quarter and reaffirm our full year 2019 guidance of adjusted earnings per share growth of 6% to 10% in constant currency," the CEO added.
Kerry said its Taste & Nutrition division delivered a strong performance in the first three months of the year on increased demand for its products.
The Americas region saw 2.6% volume growth in the first quarter with a "solid performance" in North America, on the back of its meat, snacks and dairy divisions.
In Latin America, Brazil performed especially well in the dairy and beverage sectors, while Mexico's performance was led by good good in snacks, it noted.
The Europe region recorded volume growth of 2.4% and Northern Europe and Russia standing out as highlights for Kerry.
Kerry said its APMEA region saw volume growth of 9.3% with broad-based growth across the region led by China.
The company said it continues to make good progress in expanding its capacity and processing capabilities in the region, with ongoing strategic investments in China, India and the Middle East.
Meanwhile, Kerry's Consumer Foods division saw volume growth of 0.8% in the first quarter with the division's trading profit margin impact by Brexit risk mitigation costs.
In a subdued marketplace, Kerry said its "Everyday Fresh" range performed in line with expectations, with growth in meat offset by challenges within the dairy sub-sector.
But it noted that the "Richmond" brand had solid growth, along with the "Denny" brand in Ireland.
It also said that its 'food to go' products performed well, as strong growth in "Cheesestrings" was complemented by a number of new listings at the end of the quarter.