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Kerry Group could move investment from Republic to the UK after Brexit vote

By John Mulligan and Sean Duffy

Food company Kerry Group - which operates several brands based in Northern Ireland - might divert some investment activity from the Republic to the UK following June's Brexit vote, chief executive Stan McCarthy has warned.

He said a decision would depend on what trade agreements were ultimately engineered between the UK and the EU.

The firm owns brands including Henry Denny & Sons, which has a business in Portadown, along with Dairy Producer Packers in Coleraine and Golden Cow in Craigavon.

"There are some investments that we will have to reconsider - that we would have made here in Ireland - that we may have to make in the UK, depending on how it looks with regards to trade agreements," he said. "In terms of the UK itself, it may provide us with an opportunity to manufacture and export out of there as well."

While he said there's been no impact yet on Kerry's underlying business from the Brexit vote, the group has already suffered from the huge currency swings that resulted from the shock referendum decision.

Currency headwinds will see expected adjusted earnings per share growth at Kerry at the middle to lower end of a 6% to 10% range of 320 to 332 cent per share this year. But analysts had by and large already pencilled in the currency impact from June's Brexit vote.

Kerry's group revenue in the first six months of 2016 was virtually unchanged at €3bn (£2.6bn), while its trading profit rose 7.4% to €321.6m (£272m).

Belfast Telegraph