Kerry Group has reported solid growth in its interim results this morning of 2.7% while its trading profit increased by 3% to €275 million.

The results also show that the Group trading margin is up 50 basic points to 9.5% while the interim dividend per share increased by 12.5% to 13.3 cent.

Commenting on the results Kerry Group Chief Executive Stan McCarthy said; “We are pleased to report a solid Groupwide performance in H1 2014 with good underlying sales growth and margin improvement. Notwithstanding significant adverse currency movements, adjusted earnings per share increased by 5.8% to 115.2 cent. Our Kerry Global Technology & Innovation Centres continue to drive industry-leading innovation. We remain confident of delivering 6% to 10% growth in adjusted earnings per share in 2014 as previously guided.”

Conditions in the Group’s primary consumer foods markets in the UK and Ireland remain highly competitive due to increased market fragmentation arising from consumer trends favouring convenience formats, discounter channels and e-tailing. It says that while consumers continue to pursue value offerings, Kerry Foods’ priority brands performed well in the UK market and maintained brand positioning in the Irish market.

It also says that recent major investments in Kerry Global Technology & Innovation Centres continue to drive industry-leading innovations and is a key differentiator in the marketplace. The Group also continues to successfully deploy Kerry’s taste and nutrition platforms throughout regional developing markets. Despite relatively weaker economic conditions in some regional developing markets and political instability in some zones, Kerry continues to record solid growth − in particular through nutritional applications in Asia, it says.

At home, it says that primary dairy market price returns weakened considerably in Q2 due to significant growth in output and export volumes in key exporting countries.