Mixed Flavor Results for Kerry in 2009

Kerry Group (Tralee, Ireland) has announced preliminary sales results of 4.5 billion euros for the year ending Dec. 31, 2009, a reduction of 4.8% year-over-year.

Ingredients and Flavors Group results in the Americas fell 5.2% year-over-year, totaling 1,287 million euros. The region reported strength in savory (particularly healthier snack sector solutions), dairy and beverage systems. In addition, flavor totals were boosted by the company’s acquisition of Prima SA, a Costa Rica-based savory ingredients and flavors business. Kerry noted weakness in the cereal and sweet market sectors.

The company’s Europe/Middle East/Africa ingredients and flavors revenue dipped 6.2% year-over-year to 1,124 million euros. Savory and dairy systems and flavors results were “satisfactory,” while the company’s acquisition of Dera Holding NV boosted savory flavorings results in meat and processed foods sectors in Central Europe, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Cereal and sweet technology sectors displayed weakness. Meanwhile, health and functional solutions built business for Kerry in the confectionery and bakery (fruit fillings) categories. Finally, the dairy, fruit system and functional ingredient activities were boosted by the ice cream and frozen desserts segments. Beverage systems and flavors were resilient. According to the company, “Increased focus on product quality improvement and cost optimization provided good opportunities for Kerry’s sugar reduction, taste modulation, cloud systems and all-natural citrus flavor range.”

Results in Asia-Pacific grew 6.6% year-over-year to 404 million euors, boosted by dairy systems and flavors in the snack and bakery markets, and beverage applications in China, Northeast Asia, Australia and Korea.

Of the results, chief executive Stan McCarthy said, “The Kerry business model performed robustly in what was a challenging environment in 2009, delivering excellent product and business development opportunities, good margin improvement and cash generation.”

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