Kerry Group, the Irish food and ingredients firm, reported higher sales and earnings for 2014 despite ongoing volume pressure at its consumer food unit. 

Kerry said today (24 February) that total sales volumes increased 3.4% in the 12 months to end-December. Revenue totalled EUR4.34bn (US4.91bn) in the period. Consumer food volumes contracted 0.7% to EUR1.5bn but Kerry stressed it saw something of a second-half rebound at the unit. The company said it traded ahead of the market in the UK and Ireland. 

Trading profit grew 6.1% to EUR593m. On a group-wide basis, trading operating margin expanded 80 basis points. Gains were again led by the ingredients business, with consumer food margins rising at a slower pace of 30 basis points. 

Net profit increased to EUR479.9m, up from EUR84.4m in 2013 as the group lapped non-trading one-time expenses of EUR352.2m.