New big cheese boosts Kerry Group
Shares in Coleraine Cheddar owner Kerry Group soared as much as 6% yesterday after the global food and ingredients giant announced strong results for 2016 and confirmed the appointment of a successor to chief executive Stan McCarthy.
While the company's revenue was virtually unchanged on 2015 at €6.1bn (£5bn), it reported business volume growth jumped 3.6%.
Kerry Group owns six facilities in Northern Ireland, including Henry Denny & Sons in Portadown, Golden Cow in Craigavon and Dairy Produce Packers in Coleraine, makers of Coleraine Cheddar.
It made a €750m (£635m) trading profit last year, which was 7.1% higher than in 2015.
The company said the chief executive of its Asia-Pacific operation, Edmond Scanlon, will succeed Mr McCarthy on October 1.
Mr Scanlon joined Kerry Group after graduating from University College Cork in 1996. He has held a number of senior roles at the company.
He said he was "honoured and privileged" to take over the post at the company, which employs more than 24,000 people around the world.
Mr McCarthy said Kerry had delivered record free cash flow of €570m (£482m) in what remains a competitive market.
He told investors that changes in the market are happening at an "accelerating pace" and are driving innovation, with "health and wellness trends pervasive across all sectors".
Kerry generated €4.88bn (£4bn) of its revenue from its taste and nutrition division last year, with the remaining €1.3bn (£1bn) derived from its consumer foods unit.