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Kerry Group Reports Strong Recovery in Business Performance

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Kerry Group Reports Strong Recovery in Business Performance

Kerry Group Reports Strong Recovery in Business Performance
February 18
09:37 2021
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Kerry Group, the global taste & nutrition and consumer foods group, has reported a 4% decline in revenue to €7.0 billion, with an overall volume reduction of 2.9% in the year ended 31 December 2020. Performance in the Taste & Nutrition business continued to improve through the year and returned to volume growth in the fourth quarter, while performance in Consumer Foods improved with a very strong finish to the year.

Kerry Group reported trading profit of €797.2 million – down from €902.7 million in 2019 – due to the impact of COVID-19. Group trading margin decreased by 100 bps to 11.5% as a result of operating deleverage and COVID‐related costs partially offset by cost mitigation actions, with significant recovery in business margins across the second half of the year.

Net capital expenditure amounted to €311 million (2019: €315m) and research and development expenditure was €282 million (2019: €291m) as Kerry Group continued to invest in its strategic priorities for growth across taste, nutrition, developing markets and foodservice.

Kerry Group’s Taste & Nutrition business reported revenue was €5.8 billion, reflecting a reported decrease of 4.4%, primarily due to lower volumes and adverse translation currency, partially offset by contribution from business acquisitions. In the year, Kerry Group completed a number of key strategic acquisitions, including: Bio-K Plus International Inc., a leading biotechnology company with a number of probiotics in beverage and supplement applications in Canada; and the purchase of Jining Nature Group in China and Tecnispice in Guatemala, both of which are local leaders in savoury taste in their respective markets.

The Consumer Foods division reported revenue was €1.3 billion, reflecting a reported decrease of 2.1%, as lower volumes due to the previously reported ready meals contract exit and an adverse impact from translation currency were partially offset by increased pricing.

Edmond Scanlon (pictured), Chief Executive Officer of Kerry Group, comments: “This has been a truly unique year, with the daily lives of people across the world profoundly impacted by the COVID‐19 pandemic. I am exceptionally proud of the response of our people, and how they have supported our customers and local communities throughout the year, aligned to our Purpose, Inspiring Food, Nourishing Life.

“In the year, there were notable distinctions in business performance by channel. Sustained strong growth was achieved in the retail channel, primarily through growth in authentic cooking, plant-based offerings and health and wellness products. Performance in our foodservice channel was most significantly impacted in the second quarter, as the introduction of restrictions affected our customers’ operations. The proactive nature of our business model has been a key driver of our strong recovery through the year, as we supported foodservice customers in adapting their operations and menus to cater for increased consumer demand for takeaway, online and delivery.”

He continues: “We made very good progress on a number of strategic fronts. We commenced the strategic development of our Georgia, US facility, which will have world-leading capabilities. We launched our 2030 sustainability strategy – Beyond the Horizon, which details Kerry’s sustainability targets and will be central to our growth strategy, as we continue to innovate with our customers and expand our reach of sustainable nutrition solutions. We completed a number of key acquisitions aligned to our strategic growth priorities in the year, and have since announced our intention to acquire Spanish listed Biosearch Life.

“While uncertainty from COVID-19 continues to impact our customers, consumers and industry, we will continue to co-create with our customers to meet accelerating consumer demands, and look forward to a year of strong recovery and good growth.”

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