When Stan McCarthy took over as chief executive on 1 January 2008, Kerry had sales of €4.8bn, was making profits of €377m with margins of just under 8%. Its business was split two-thirds Europe, one-quarter Americas with less than 10% in Asia-Pacific. Its Kerry Foods consumer division accounted for one-third of sales and just over a quarter of profits. Its ingredients business made up the other two-thirds of sales and delivered almost three-quarters of the profits.

This week, as he announced the group’s results for 2016, and his retirement, Stan McCarthy is leaving the company and its shareholders in a much better position than a decade earlier.