Shares in Kerry Group closed nearly 6% higher to a record high level of just under €110 each, after it reported a strong set of results.

The company recorded a profit after tax of €239.4 million for the first half of the year, up 5.5% on the same period last year and on revenue of just below €3.6 billion.

The interim dividend per share increased 11.9% to 23.5 cent.

Both the taste and nutrition and consumer foods parts of the business registered a growth in the volume of sales.

However, margins were flat in the consumer foods business as a result of extra costs incurred during preparations for Brexit.

Edmond Scanlon, chief executive of the company, said Kerry Group is as well positioned as it possibly can be for Brexit following a huge amount of preparation work on every possible scenario.

He said it was important to recognise that while the firm has a significant business in the UK, it is serviced from within the UK market with very little exposure outside the area.

Mr Scanlon said that the company's full year guidance of adjusted earnings per share growth of 7-9% reflects its view that while there may be some disruption initially if there is a hard Brexit, normal trading conditions will resume after a period of time.

He added that over the longer term, the food group would be more concerned about the impact Brexit might have on local consumption in the UK market.

Demand is soft there right now, he said, and the company does not see anything positive happening to that in the short-term.

Overall, the food group credited its positive interim results with the company's ability to meet rapidly evolving consumer needs.

"We are pleased with business performance in the period, as the Group continued to deliver volume growth ahead of the market while expanding trading margins in line with expectations," said Mr Scanlon.

"While heightened consumer pricing and uncertainty impacted market volume growth rates in some developed markets, our unique and industry-leading business model and integrated taste and nutrition positioning continued to deliver significant value for our customers in meeting rapidly evolving consumer needs," he said.

Mr Scanlon said Kerry is excited by the ongoing enhancement of its product mix and the development of its innovation pipeline.

He said good progress has been made on the integration of recent acquisitions, which are performing very well. 

Mr Scanlon would not rule in or out the possibility that Kerry Group might be interested in buying DuPont's for-sale ingredients business.

"There isn't a transaction in the industry that our name isn’t associated with," he said, adding that the company does not provide guidance on its possible merger and acquisition activities.