Irish food manufacturer Kerry Group delivered “strong” growth in the first half of the year.

For the six months to the end of June, trading profit increased 12.9% to EUR204m (US$258.6m), reflecting a 7.4% like-for-like increase and a 40 basis point improvement in the group’s trading profit margin to 8.4%.

Profit before tax increased to EUR162m from EUR115m in the first half of 2009.

Group sales revenue climbed 2.7% on a like-for-like basis to EUR2.4bn. Allowing for changes to product mix, lower pricing and trading currency movement, continuing business volumes were 5.8% ahead on a group-wide basis.

Kerry Group chief executive Stan McCarthy said: “Based on our strong performance to date in 2010 we now expect to achieve mid-teen growth in adjusted earnings per share for the full year”.

Click here to view the full earnings release and check back later for further insight into Kerry Group’s first-half performance.