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In conjunction with its annual general meeting, Kerry Group (County Kerry, Ireland) released an interim management statement for its first quarter 2011, ending March 31. Despite the significant increases in raw material and input costs, the company reported revenues increased 14.8%, and adjusted for current and acquisitions impacts, like-for-like revenue increased 10.5%. Additionally, as a reflection of Kerry’s cost recovery program, business volumes increased 4.1% and the company’s pricing/mix grew by 6.3%.
Specifically for the company’s ingredients and flavors business unit, volumes grew by 4.7%, with the Americas region reaching a 5.3% volume growth, the EMEA region’s volume reaching 2.2% growth, and growth in the Asia-Pacific region’s business volumes reaching 10.1%.
The Americas region continued its partnership programs and innovation initiatives with key customers, including cost recovery programs, and despite reduced demand for some premium and indulgence based lines, the company was able to capitalized on trends such as clean label offerings, product shelf-life extension and demand for enhanced nutritional products. Kerry saw its dairy culinary systems grow, as well as its sweet systems, which was based on customized applications and bite-size snack products. Also, beverage systems benefitted from the company’s integrated beverage ingredients development programs and the expansion of its aseptic shelf-stable beverage systems production capacity in Savannah, Georgia and St. Claire, Canada. In the Latin American marketplace, the company continued its deployment of technology platforms, honing in on beverage, sweet and cereal technologies in the region.
In the EMEA region, the company has maintained a cost recovery program in response to input cost increases, and its savory and dairy systems grew through culinary applications in prepared foods categories but were impacted by weaker demand in the red meat sector, particularly in Eastern Europe. The cereal and sweet technologies performed well in this region, with growth recorded in yogurt, ice cream and bakery applications. Also, the development of this region’s beverage systems and flavors marketplace was impacted by the phasing of customer application projects early in the year, but it has recovered satisfactorily.
In the Asia-Pacific markets, Kerry continued to record progress despite the impact of the natural disaster events in Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Lipid systems grew in tea and coffee applications, as well as in the nutritional beverage sector. Overall beverage applications recorded growth in particular in the QSR segment, despite a strong comparable first quarter in 2010, and meat systems also grew, driven by the QSR segment and in particular through poultry applications in Australia and New Zealand. Additionally, sweet systems and functional ingredients saw growth in the bakery sector, and performance in the lifestyle bakery products segment was boosted by the integration of the Van den Bergh’s and Croissant King brands acquired prior to year-end 2010.