Kerry Group  the global ingredients and flavours and consumer foods group, has reported a solid financial performance for the half year ended 30 June 2013.

Commenting on the results out this morning Kerry Group Chief Executive Stan McCarthy said: “The group achieved a strong financial performance in the first half of 2013 and continued to invest in enhancing the quality of our businesses. Adjusted earnings per share in the period increased by 11.7 per cent to 108.9 cent. Our global ingredients & flavours technologies and core consumer foods businesses are performing well. We remain confident of achieving our growth targets for the full year and delivering 7 per cent to 11 per cent growth in adjusted earnings per share to a range of 250 to 260 cent per share.”

Group sales revenue increased by 1.1 per cent to €2.9bn. Continuing business volumes increased by 2.7  per cent and pricing increased by 1.8  per cent − broadly offsetting input cost inflation of approximately 4 per cent.

Volume growth and trading performance in ingredients & flavours’ markets improved in Q2 relative to Q1 which was impacted by an increase in customer inventories in the final quarter of 2012. Ingredients & Flavours continuing business volumes increased by 3.9  per cent relative to H1 2012 and pricing increased by 2  per cent. Continuing business volumes in Kerry Foods decreased by 0.3  per cent and pricing increased by 1.2  per cent relative to the same period in 2012.

Group trading profit increased by 9.8 per cent to €267m. Ongoing added value business development which is improving product mix, coupled with the benefits accruing through the 1 Kerry Business Transformation Programmes and the positive impact from exiting non-core business activities, contributed to a 70 basis points improvement in the Group trading profit margin to 9 per cent. This reflects an 80 basis points improvement in trading margin in Ingredients & Flavours to 11.1 per cent and a 30 basis points improvement in Consumer Foods’ margin to 7.7 per cent.

Adjusted profit before tax, brand related intangible asset amortisation and non-trading items increased by 10.2 per cent to €225.2m. The income statement charge arising from investment in the EMEA Global Technology & Innovation Centre, integration of acquisitions, restructuring / reorganisation costs and loss on disposal of non-current assets/businesses amounted to €66.1m (net of tax) resulting in a net cash outflow of €12.3m after tax.

Adjusted profit after tax before brand related intangible asset amortisation and non-trading items increased 11.7 per cent to €191m. Adjusted earnings per share increased 11.7 per cent to 108.9 cent (2012 : 97.5 cent). The interim dividend of 12 cent per share represents an increase of 11.1 per cent over the 2012 interim dividend.