Belfast Telegraph

Kerry Group shares hit record level

Kerry Group will have a war chest of up to €250m (£215m) to spend on acquisitions this year after it racked up annual profits for 2012 that topped expectations.

Shares in the company hit their highest level on record this week as the firm said revenue rose more than 10% and would climb by a similar margin this year.

The food giant said earnings per share jumped 11.3% to 237.6c on revenue of €5.8bn.

While trading profit gained 10%, the Tralee-based firm reported a final profit of €267m. That was down 25% year on year, due to restructuring costs and integrating acquisitions. The company booked an exceptional charge of €120.2m for these costs.

The full-year dividend rose 12% to 35c a share.

Growth was driven by the ingredients and flavours side of the business, which saw trading profit increase 15%.

Belfast Telegraph