Rise in profits for Kerry Group

The Irish food company Kerry Group has reported an increase in annual pre-tax profits of almost 11%.

Profits for 2011 were 449m euros (£376m), up from 405m euros the previous year.

The company has plants in Coleraine and Craigavon and its brands include Denny, Golden Cow and Coleraine Cheese.

The food and drink sector has been one of the bright spots in a troubled Irish economy.

Kerry said it had performed well in all key developed markets during the year and continued to expand in developing markets.

But it added that the consumer foods markets in Ireland and the UK proved challenging due to the economic situation and level of price cutting in both markets.

The company's chief executive Stan McCarthy said the company is confident of achieving its strategic growth objectives for 2012.

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