Kerry Group has reported a 10% increase in trading profits to €700m for its 2015 financial year, with the group saying trading margins for the year increased 40 basis points to 11.5%. Kerry’s operating profit for the year grew by 10.5% to more than €672m, while pre-tax profits increased 8.5% to almost €603m.

Revenues for the 12 months to the end of December grew by more than 6% to €6.1bn, while adjusted earnings (eps) grew by 8.2% to 301.9c. Kerry is recommending a final dividend per share of 35c, while the total dividend for the year will rise by 11.1% to 50c.

Commenting on the results Kerry Group Chief Executive Stan McCarthy said; "In a record year of business development in 2015, the Group achieved a strong financial performance, delivering continued business margin expansion and 8.2% growth in adjusted earnings per share. We expect to achieve 6% to 10% growth in adjusted earnings per share in 2016 taking into account a 3% currency headwind at today's exchange rates."

By division

Trading profits from Kerry’s ingredients and flavours division increased by almost 12% to €663m with margins improving 40 bps to 14.1%. The division’s revenues grew by 4% during the year to €4.7bn.

The performance of Kerry’s consumer foods division was steady. Trading profits improved by a marginal 0.2% to €126m for the year, despite a 2.2% decrease in revenues to €1.48bn. Margins for the consumer foods division increased by 20 bps to 8.5%.

At year end, Kerry Group’s net debt stood at more than €1.65bn, a jump of almost 38% year-on-year reflecting a year of significant spending from the group. Kerry had spent almost €1bn on acquisitions by the end of October with €650m alone spent on three US companies in the autumn.

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Kerry Group advances in 2015