Kerry Group today (4 May) reported rising volumes from its consumer foods division during the first quarter of the year, with the Ireland-based business seeing growth from brands including Mattessons.

In a trading update for the three months to the end of March, Kerry said volumes from its consumer foods business were up 2.3%. Prices rose on average by 1%.

Kerry said Mattessons had “maintained growth” in the meat snacking category. Its Fire & Smoke cooked meats “performed well in the UK delicatessen and pre-pack cooked meat categories”.

The company said its chilled and frozen meals businesses performed “in line with expectations”.

In Kerry’s dairy business, Cheestrings “maintained growth” in the UK despite operational issues at the company’s Charleville production plant. The group said its plans to grow Cheestrings in mainland Europe “continued to be progressed satisfactorily”.

The company said trading conditions in the UK private-label spreads category “stabilised” during the quarter. The Irish spreads market saw falling volumes and value but Kerry said its Dairygold brand had grown its market share.

Margins from Kerry’s consumer foods business were down 70 basis points due to the impact of the decline in sterling.

Kerry’s consumer foods arm contributed to a 3.8% rise in group-wide business volumes. The company’s larger ingredients arm reported a 4.1% increase in volumes.

The group said it was “confident of delivering” the 5-9% growth in adjusted earnings per share it had previously guided. That growth would take adjusted earnings per share to between 339.6 to 352.5 cent.