Ingredients maker Kerry cheers rising sales
Ingredients manufacturer Kerry – one of south Shropshire's biggest employers – has seen its sales increase despite market conditions remaining "challenging".
The company, which has an ingredients factory in Burford, on the Shropshire side of the Worcestershire border near Tenbury Wells, achieved revenue of 6.1 billion euros (£4.76 billion) during 2015 – 6.1 per cent more than a year before.
Trading profit also increased, rising by 10 per cent to 700 million euros (£546 million), the newly-published full-year results show.
The Irish food giant, whose consumer division brands include Cheese String, Mattesons and Walls Sausages, said it expected to continue delivering improvements this year – leading its share price to rise by more than five per cent in early trading.
Chief executive Stan McCarthy said: "In a record year of business development in 2015, the group achieved a strong financial performance. Our industry-leading technologies are well positioned to meet today's consumer and customer requirements.
"We expect to achieve six to 10 per cent growth in adjusted earnings per share in 2016."
The taste and nutrition division, which includes the sweet ingredients manufacturing business which employs more than 300 people in Burford, outperformed the consumer foods segment which covers the big-name brands. The division's sales volumes were four per cent higher, helping it contribute 4.7 billion euros (£3.67 billion) to the company's performance for the year.
Trading profit in the division was 11.9 per cent up at 663 million euros (£517.3 million).
Kerry said price battles between its rivals has affected the company within "challenging" developed markets. It also lamented the impact of slow progress in emerging economies.
"Against this background, Kerry's Taste & Nutritional technology portfolio and Global Technology & Innovation Centre network was to the fore in product development and innovation through the group's commercial alliances," the company added.
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