Kerry Group has reported strong business growth during the first quarter of 2022, its latest trading update has showed.
The food technology and ingredient company delivered an 8.1% revenue increase in the three months to the end of March.
Overall, Kerry Group reported 5.6% group volume growth during the period.
The company noted that its Dairy Ireland segment showed 0.7% volume growth, while its Taste & Nutrition business showed 6.8% volume growth.
In Kerry Group’s Dairy Ireland segment, solid overall volume growth was achieved, as the business saw significant price increases across the period.
Within Dairy Consumer Products, good volume growth was achieved right across the dairy snacking range, led by Cheestrings, with increased out-of-home consumption.
Volumes in spreadable butter were lower due to reduced promotional activity, while the cheese category had strong comparatives due to a higher level of at-home consumption in the prior year.
Taste & Nutrition
Taste & Nutrition delivered strong overall growth in the period, driven by performance across many developed markets.
The foodservice channel achieved strong double-digit volume growth, reflective of continued business momentum and lower comparatives at the beginning of the prior year.
Edmond Scanlon, chief executive officer, said that the company was pleased with the start to the year, despite challenging conditions in a number of markets.
“Taste & Nutrition achieved continued strong growth, particularly in developed markets. This growth was led by the meat, snacks and bakery end-use markets. Growth in the retail channel remained strong, while foodservice continued its excellent overall growth in the period,” Scanlon said.
Markets and Performance
According to the company, the overall demand environment remained positive throughout the period, as consumers moved to more normalised work environments and increased their social engagements.
As consumer preferences continue to evolve with increased demand for new food and beverage experiences, sustainability remains a key factor in purchasing decisions, while overall price inflation has now moved into the consciousness of many consumers, Kerry Group highlighted.
‘[These dynamics are] leading to challenges for customers who continue to pursue more focused innovation strategies to meet these evolving needs, while they seek to ensure continuity of supply and navigate the current inflationary environment,’ the company noted.
“As overall market conditions remain highly dynamic, we are actively managing the inflationary environment in close collaboration with our customers. As previously announced, we have taken the decision to suspend our operations in Russia and Belarus, and we continue to work through the challenges presented in China since the introduction of localised restrictions,” Scanlon said.
“As we commence a new strategic cycle, the progress we’ve made positions us strongly for growth. We are reaffirming our full-year earnings guidance.”