Kerry American ingredients market performs well

by Eric Schroeder
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TRALEE, IRELAND — Sales revenue for the American ingredients markets for the Kerry Group, P.L.C. was €1,343,431,000 ($1,714,167,000) for the year ended Dec. 31, which represented 6.7% like-for-like growth.

Kerry said the incorporation of flavors with its total ingredients offering through a go-to-market strategy helped deliver "encouraging results and a strong customer response." In addition, demand for natural ingredients and flavors continued to grow in 2008, as did applications to meet requirements set forth by quick-service restaurants.

"The growing demand for complete meal solutions provided good growth opportunities for Kerry’s savory and dairy systems and flavors," the company said. "Culinary market growth, in particular, soups, stock and broths presented strong development targets for Kerry’s clean-label ingredient and flavor options, low-sodium technologies, yeast extracts and aseptic processing capability."

Kerry said its sweet and cereal industry segments proved more challenging in 2008 as the ice cream, cereal and nutrition bar end use markets slowed relative to the prior year. Meanwhile, the company’s beverage ingredients and flavors segments experienced good growth driven by ready-to-drink tea, energy drink and new customized beverage food service applications.

Companywide, Tralee-based Kerry Group posted sales revenue of €4,790,770,000, or like-for-like revenue growth of 6.3%. Adjusted earnings per share, before intangible amortization and non-trading items, were €101.3, down from €137.4 in fiscal 2007.

"Despite tremendous cost pressures and trends toward more value conscious food and beverage consumption — particularly in the second half of the year, we achieved good organic revenue growth and margin improvement," said Stan McCarthy, chief executive for the Kerry Group. "Kerry is well positioned from a technology and consumer understanding standpoint to lead industry product development needs in this time of change."

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