Kerry Group has upgraded its guidance for adjusted earnings per share from 7% to 10% in constant currency terms as the Ireland-based firm reported first-half results.

Chief executive Edmond Scanlon said in a statement today (9 August): “Evolving consumer trends and the changing marketplace have provided increased opportunities and demand for Kerry’s industry leading RD&A and broad technology portfolio. This, along with the group’s enhanced end-use market focus, drove healthy volume growth and underlying margin expansion in the first half of 2018. We also continued to make progress with and invest in business development initiatives aligned to our strategic growth priorities.”

In February, the company offered adjusted earnings per share growth guidance of 6% to 10% on a constant currency basis. 

The company said adjusted earnings per share rose 9% to 144.2 cents in the six months to 30 June based on revenue of EUR3.2bn (US$3.7bn), with volumes up 3.6%. It reported volume growth of 4.1% for its taste and nutrition business and 1.3% for the consumer foods division.

Kerry Group said that while the UK and Irish consumer foods markets “encountered challenges” in the period, the division delivered a “solid underlying performance”, with revenues of EUR2.6bn. Taste and nutrition posted revenues of EUR685m.