Kerry Foods

The fallout from the horsemeat scandal in the UK dragged frozen ready-meal sales at Kerry Foods down 11%, the supplier has revealed.

Chilled ready meals fared a little better, growing value sales 2% in the year ending 31 December, Kerry said in its full-year results today.

Kerry’s UK Brands division also performed solidly, with Richmond sausages growing value sales 5.7% in 2013 to remain the number-one sausage brand in the UK. Cheese slices performed well, although private label dairy spreads lost share to branded rivals, Kerry added.

However, restructuring costs associated with new acquisitions and charges from disposals totalled €352.2m, taking a huge bite out of Kerry’s net profit, which was down 67.6% year-on-year to €84.4m. Over the course of the year, Kerry bought South Africa-based Orley Foods and US-based Wynnstarr.

Total group turnover slipped 0.2% to €5.84bn, although Kerry said underlying growth was up 4.6%.

“The Group achieved good underlying growth ahead of our markets in 2013 and a 10.2% increase in adjusted earnings per share. Our performance reflects continued business margin improvement and strong cash generation,” said Kerry Group CEO Stan McCarthy.

“We are well focused on our targeted nutrition, taste and developing market platforms for growth. Based on current exchange rates, the Group expects to achieve 6% to 10% growth in adjusted earnings per share in 2014.”