Kerry reports record organic growth for 2022

Kerry’s group revenue was €8.8 billion in 2022, reflecting 18% organic growth, the Irish company says. This was made up of 6.1% group volume growth and pricing expansion of 11.7%. Dairy Ireland’s pricing increased by 36%, while volume was up by 0.2%.

“As we marked Kerry’s 50th year in 2022, we achieved record organic revenue growth against the backdrop of an exceptionally dynamic operating environment. I am proud of the broad-based volume growth we delivered across our end use markets, channels, regions and emerging markets despite the macroeconomic conditions,” says Edmond Scanlon, CEO of Kerry. “Our teams worked closely with our customers to actively manage through the inflationary environment, while continuing to innovate and develop their offerings to meet evolving marketplace needs.

“We completed a number of acquisitions aligned to our strategic priorities of taste, nutrition and emerging markets, and since year-end we announced the potential sale of our sweet ingredients portfolio, as we continue to enhance and refine our business to areas where we can add most value.

While recognising the current market uncertainty, we believe we are strongly positioned to continue to grow our business through this period. In 2023, we expect to achieve 3% to 7% adjusted earnings per share growth on a constant currency basis, before the dilution from the potential sale of the sweet ingredients portfolio.”

Group EBITDA increased by 12.9% to €1.2 billion, with an EBITDA margin of 13.9% (2021: 14.7%), as the dilution from the impact of passing through input cost inflation was partially offset by accretion from portfolio developments, operating leverage, mix and efficiency initiatives.

Constant currency adjusted earnings per share increased by 7.3% to 440.6 cent (2021: 12.1% increase). Basic earnings per share was 341.9 cent (2021: 430.6 cent) as the prior year included a credit from the sale of the Consumer Foods Meats and Meals business.

Research and development expenditure amounted to €303m (2021: €297m) and net capital expenditure was €217m (2021: €315m) as the group continued to invest in its strategic priorities.

Good progress was made in the year against the Beyond the Horizon sustainability strategy and commitments. Kerry increased its nutritional reach to 1.2 billion consumers globally. The group achieved a 48% reduction in Scope 1 & 2 carbon emissions, while strong progress was made in reducing food waste in Kerry’s operations by 32%, the company says.

“The overall demand environment remained robust through the year despite the macroeconomic backdrop. Consumers continued to seek new taste experiences, cleaner labels and added functional benefits through food and beverages. The cost-of-living crisis has resulted in many consumers looking for relative value options to meet their purchase preferences, depending on their available resources,” the firm noted in its summary.

“Customers continued to prioritise the resiliency of their supply chains through this period of inflationary pressure. Innovation has become increasingly more targeted, as they seek to meet various consumer preferences within different price ranges. Customers are working with and looking for supplier partners to support them in addressing these current market challenges and opportunities, as they navigate through this dynamic operating environment.”

At the outset of 2023, while market conditions are currently uncertain, Kerry remains strongly positioned for growth ahead of its markets, it says. The group will continue to manage input cost fluctuations with its well-established pricing model. Kerry will continue to invest capital aligned to its strategic priorities and strategically evolve its portfolio.

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