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Kerry Group boosts FY'18 guidance despite currency impact

Kerry Group PLC on Aug. 9 raised the floor of its 2018 earnings guidance as it delivered first-half profit in line with expectations despite currency headwinds.

In a statement, the packaged foods and meat producer said it expected to achieve growth in adjusted earnings per share of 7% to 10% in constant currency for the full year due to its ability to respond to localized consumer trends and customer requirements through innovation.

"Growth prospects for the full year remain strong due to a good innovation pipeline, while bearing in mind the strong comparatives from the second half of 2017," it said.

In February 2018, it projected 2018 growth in adjusted EPS of 6% to 10% at constant currency.

Kerry Group, based in Tralee, Ireland, reported adjusted EPS for the six months to June 30 was flat year over year at €1.44. The S&P Global Market Intelligence mean consensus of analysts' estimates pointed to normalized EPS of €1.44.

Net income edged up to €254.8 million from €253.6 million as unfavorable exchange rates for the British pound ate into profit margins. Revenue grew 8.0% on a constant currency basis to €3.23 billion from €3.18 billion.

Kerry Group raised its interim dividend by 11.7% to 21.0 cents per share from 18.8 cents, payable Nov. 16.