Kerry Group's food ingredients arm has boosted the Irish company as it continues to face challenges in its recession-hit, domestic consumer-food business.

In a trading update issued today (5 May), Kerry said its ingredients and flavours operations had seen volumes rise 5.2% during the first quarter of the year.

The ingredients and flavours business drove Kerry's group volumes up 5.1% as the company's consumer food unit endured a mixed first quarter.

Kerry's consumer food volumes rose 3.3%, with the company's branded business in the UK "achieving strong category growth".

However, the company added: "The deflationary market environment in Ireland continued to negatively impact all branded consumer food categories in the Irish market. Heavily promoted private label and discounter offerings again grew at the expense of leading brands.

"Kerry Foods remains confident that its continuing investment programme in repositioning the division's leading Irish brands will be successful in meeting 'value-focused' consumer requirements."

Click here for the full trading update from Kerry Group.