Kerry Group notched up double-digit growth in profits last year, while sales hit the €5bn (£4.22bn) barrier for the first time.

Profits at the Irish chilled foods group, whose brands include Cheestrings (pictured), Wall's and Mattesons, were up more than 11% to €470m.

Sales grew by almost 10%, or 4.6% on a like-for-like basis. Volumes rose 5.5% over the year. The company’s ingredients business was the main driver of growth, with like-for-like sales up 6.6% - well ahead of its consumer foods business.

Kerry chief executive Stan McCarthy called the performance “excellent”.

“Business development in the group’s established and emerging markets proved highly successful, delivering strong volume growth and good margin progression,” McCarthy said.

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