IRELAND – Kerry Group, the consumer foods company has posted 3.7% growth in business volume, acquisitions contributing 4% in the first quarter ending March 31, 2018.
The company said Taste & Nutrition segment grew 4.3%, Consumer Foods increased by 1.6% reaffirming full-year 2018 guidance of adjusted earnings per share growth of 6 to 10%.
Results were boosted by ability to deliver authentic world tastes, new snacking formats, sugar reduction, meat-free and clean label to march the changing consumer wants and preferences.
The quarter was characterized by volume growth and positive pricing all impacting revenue which increased by 0.1%.
Improvement in Taste and Nutrition together with significant margin improvement in Consumer Foods helped maintain group trading profit margin offset by the sterling transaction impact.
“The group continued to deliver healthy volume growth and underlying margin expansion.
The acquisitions completed over the past year are performing well and integration is progressing to plan.
“Our industry-leading business model and ‘from-food for-food’ heritage is ever more relevant in today’s marketplace and continue to underpin a strong innovation pipeline,” said Edmond Scanlon, CEO.
Taste and Nutrition volume grew 4.3% across the division driven by Meat, Beverage & Snacks End-Use Markets (EUMs) with good growth in global, regional and local customer groupings.
Growth was enhanced through operating leverage, enhanced product mix, efficiencies and investments.
Foodservice performed well, grew 6.1% as a result of increased consumer demand for fast food and world tastes through innovative nutritional product solutions.
TasteSense sugar-reduction technology and natural extracts drove Kerry’s Taste technologies which include clean label technology portfolio that offered customers reduced sugar, natural ingredients and authentic taste.
All regions in America, North America, Brazil, Mexico performed well especially in snacks which enjoyed innovative flavors, healthier snacking and packaging formats.
The foodservice in this region was boosted by acquisition of Kettle business from Tyson Foods and Dottley Spice.
Beverage, Dairy & Meat performed well in Europe with 3.1% volume growth while strong growth in the Foodservice was attributed to Kerry’s Island Oasis beverage brand remarkable earnings.
Meat category posted good earnings aided by clean label and coating technologies and acquisition of Hasenosa in Spain.
APMEA region which includes Middle East and Africa delivered good results led by Bakery EUM plus a boost from the recent acquisitions of Tianning Flavours, Taste Master & Hangman aimed at strengthening its local capabilities.
The Snacks EUM delivered good opportunities for growth due to the continued development of new snacking occasions across the region.