Kerry sees growth in Americas ingredient segment

by Eric Schroeder
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TRALEE, IRELAND — Sales revenue for the American ingredients markets for the Kerry Group, P.L.C. was €643,433,000 ($943,417,000) for the half year ended June 30, down narrowly from €644,386,000 a year ago but up 7% on a like-for-like basis.

Kerry said the segment achieved "excellent growth" through culinary, dairy, lipid and savory systems and flavors, particularly through frozen complete sauces, prepared meals, meal accompaniments, soups and dressing’s applications. The ready-to-eat cereal category, meanwhile, experienced a slight decline in volume even while achieving growth in the "healthful sector," where Kerry grew behind its granola and clusters technologies.

The company said it continued to see strong demand for its all-natural, organic, valued-added offerings and complete systems within the food and beverage industry during the first half of fiscal 2008.

Companywide, the Tralee-based Kerry Group reported sales revenue of €2,363 million ($3,464 million), or like-for-like revenue growth of 7.3%. Adjusted earnings per share, before intangible amortization and non-trading items, were 62.8c, up a little less than 7%.

"Kerry made progress in the first half of 2008, delivering 7.3% like-for-like revenue growth, while maintaining trading margins despite significant currency and input cost pressures," said Stan McCarthy, chief executive for the Kerry Group.

Sales revenue for the food ingredients, flavors and bio-science businesses of The Kerry Group increased 3% to €1,656,235,000 ($2,427,406,000) from €1,610,908,000. Like-for-like growth was 7.8%.

In Kerry Consumer Foods, sales eased 1% to €876,898,000 ($1,285,146,000) from €882,242,000.

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