Kerry Group trading profit decreased by 17.5% to €315.9 million in its first half, its interim financial figures show.
The global taste nutrition and consumer foods group reported a 6% volume reduction for the first six months ended 30 June 2020.
The group posted revenue of €3.4 billion for the period, which showed a 4.3% decrease versus the same period last year.
“The first half of 2020 has been an unprecedented period due to the COVID‐19 pandemic," said Edmond Scanlon, chief executive officer.
Taste & Nutrition
Taste & Nutrition began the year strongly before the global spread of COVID‐19, the company said.
While performance in the second quarter was impacted most in April, business volumes have been recovering well since then.
"As anticipated, we have seen a significant impact on our Taste & Nutrition business – particularly our foodservice channel, where the impact was most pronounced in April, with the channel recovering well since then," said Scanlon.
Kerry said that its nutrition and wellness technology portfolio had a very good performance within the retail channel through customised solutions incorporating Kerry’s broad protein portfolio, fermented ingredients, probiotics and immunity enhancing technologies.
The company reported that business volumes in the foodservice channel declined by 27% in the first half of the year, with many out‐of‐home food and beverage outlets closed for an extended period of time.
The impact from these closures was a major contributor to overall performance in developing markets, where business volumes declined by 3.8%.
"Performance in our retail channel improved in the second quarter, primarily through increased consumer demand for authentic cooking, plant‐based offerings and health and wellness products," Scanlon added.
The company stated that, in line with its dividend strategy, the board has declared an interim dividend of 25.9 cent per share, compared to the prior year interim dividend of 23.5 cent.
This will be payable on 13 November 2020 to shareholders registered on the record date 16 October 2020.
Due to the continued uncertainty in relation to the extent and duration of the Covid‐19 pandemic, the company said that it will not provide a full year earnings guidance at this time.
According to Scanlon: "In spite of the challenges arising from Covid‐19, we continued to make good progress on a number of fronts aligned to our key strategic priorities."
"Our global operations and supply chain continue to demonstrate resilience and engagement with our customers has been overwhelmingly positive, which gives us confidence in the trajectory of business recovery," he said.
"We will emerge a stronger organisation, as this period of uncertainty continues to enhance Kerry’s role as our customers’ most valued partner,” Scanlon added.
© 2020 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.