Kerry said it benefited from the impact of acquisitions completed in 2011

Kerry said it benefited from the impact of acquisitions completed in 2011

Irish food manufacturer Kerry Group said its businesses performed "satisfactorily" in the first quarter as profits climbed on the back of acquisitions.

In the three months to the end of March, trading profit increased 7.2% on a reported basis. Performance, the company said today (2 May), benefited from the impact of Kerry's acquisitions completed in 2011.

Last year, Kerry bought German firm SuCrest, Argentina-based firm General Cereals, and Indian company EBI Cremica.

Reported sales revenues in the period climbed 9.7%. Excluding the acquisitions and currency translation, like-for-like sales increased 3.8%. Sales volumes grew 1.7%.

Kerry said it consumer foods division achieved an "encouraging" business performance despite the "challenging conditions" in the Irish and UK consumer foods markets. Sales increased 0.6% reflecting 1.5% like-for-like growth. Volumes increased 0.6%.

Sales from the firm's ingredients and flavours division increased 13.8% reflecting 4.9% like-for-like growth. Volumes grew 2.2% relative to a "strong" comparative in the prior-year period, outperforming market growth rates and destocking trends in some market sectors, the company said.

"Despite more challenging trading conditions in developed markets, group businesses continued to perform satisfactorily in the first quarter of 2012 while continuing to invest in our capabilities and positioning for the future," the company said. "Developing markets continued to provide good opportunities for growth and business development."

As previously announced, Kerry said it expects to achieve a 7% to 10% increase in adjusted EPS in 2012 to a range of 228 to 235 cent per share.

Click here to view the full trading update.