Kerry Group shares jump 5% as firm reports strong 2019

Kerry Group PLC (LON:KYGA) have seen their shares jump on a pleasing update from the Irish foods business.

The firm noted that both profits and revenues rose in 2019 which sparked shareholders optimism on Tuesday afternoon.

Shares in Kerry Group PLC trade at €123 (+5.39%). 18/2/20 13:39BST.

Kerry noted “Strong growth was achieved in the year, driven by good volume growth in Taste & Nutrition and the contribution from strategic acquisitions. Group reported revenue increased by 9.6% to €7.2 billion, reflecting volume growth of 2.8%, flat overall pricing, favourable translation currency impact of 2.1% and contribution from business acquisitions of 4.7%. Taste & Nutrition achieved good volume growth in the Americas, a solid performance in Europe and continued strong growth in APMEA. Consumer Foods delivered a solid underlying performance versus the market, offset by the impact of the ready meals contract exit previously announced.”

Across 2019, the foods firm told the market that revenue was €7.24 billion, which saw a 9.6% rise from a year ago.

Kerry alluded the strong growth to performance in Taste and Nutrition which was 4%, however consumer foods fell 2.2% due to a contract exit in ready meals.

Shareholders would not have been surprised with this slip in consumer foods as the firm had already given a prewiring a little while back.

Kerry’s pretax profit for the year was 4.5% higher at €645.9 million, with the figure before non-trading items 11% higher at €756.8 million.

The firm told shareholders that they would be paying a final dividend of 55.1 euro cents per share, taking the year’s total to 78.6 cents, up 12% on the year before.

Edmond Scanlon, Chief Executive Officer commented:

“We are pleased with the business performance and the strategic development of the Group in 2019. Taste & Nutrition delivered good volume growth, particularly against the backdrop of softer market volumes in some developed markets. We also enhanced our trading profit margin and achieved growth in adjusted earnings per share of 8.3% in constant currency.

Significant progress was made right across our strategic growth priorities of taste, nutrition, foodservice and developing markets. We successfully integrated a number of strategic acquisitions, expanded our strategic footprint in high growth developing markets, while further enhancing our industry-leading global integrated solutions portfolio.”

Looking forward, Kerry said that they expect a 5% to 9% rise in adjusted earnings per share at constant currency, as the firm also factored in the current coronavirus epidemic which is still at large.

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