Ireland's Kerry Group has reported a 10.3% increase in group reported revenue in the first quarter of its financial year, driven by a 8.3% increase in pricing and favourable currency translation effects of 1.5%.
Volumes at the firm rose by 0.2% in the period, it said.
The group's Taste & Nutrition arm reported a 1.2% increase in volumes, as well as a 7.2% pricing increase, while volumes were down 5.8% at its Dairy Ireland business, where pricing rose by 14.4%.
Group EBITDA margin was down by 70 basis points, due to the impact of passing through impact cost inflation, although this was partially offset by the positive effect of cost efficiency initiatives, the group noted.
'Good Volume Growth'
"Our performance in the first quarter was driven by good volume growth in APMEA and Europe, led by strong growth in the foodservice channel, as customers in the North America retail channel worked through elevated inventory levels across the period," commented Edmond Scanlon, chief executive. "Overall growth was led by the Dairy, Snacks and Pharma markets, as customers continued to innovate their offerings while navigating the heightened inflationary environment.
"We continued to make good strategic progress through footprint expansion and portfolio evolution with the sale of our Sweet Ingredients Portfolio, further enhancing and developing our business in areas where we can add most value."
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Remainder of the Year
Looking ahead, Kerry said that it expects to achieve earnings per share growth of 1% to 5% on a constant currency basis for the coming year.
However, at the same time, the group noted that market conditions are 'currently uncertain', citing the need to manage cost fluctuations with a 'well-established' pricing model.
"While recognising the current market uncertainty, we believe we remain strongly positioned for growth and we reiterate our full year constant currency earnings guidance," Scanlon added.
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