RPT-UPDATE 1-Kerry sees limited opportunity from NZ dairy scare
(Repeats without change to text)
* Kerry H1 earnings rise 12 pct, FY guidance retained
* Any openings from New Zealand dairy woes only slight - CFO (Adds CFO quotes, details)
DUBLIN, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Irish food group Kerry said any opportunities in its key growth market of China arising from a contamination scare would only be temporary, as it reported a 12 percent increase in earnings for the first half of the year.
New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra said at the weekend it had found a bacteria that can cause botulism in its products. The discovery led to recalls of infant formula in China and elsewhere and prompted fears of a slump in demand for New Zealand's dairy products.
Ireland is aggressively courting foreign buyers of its baby milk products and Kerry says it is the largest global ingredients and flavours player in emerging markets.
The company saw a possible uplift from the contamination scare but said it wasn't something it needed to count on.
"I don't think that we need to see those kind of issues to generate opportunities for us," Chief Financial Officer Brian Mehigan told Reuters in a telephone interview.
"Generally these things are temporary and they pass through. There can be temporary opportunities but I think in the long term we have a business model and an offer to the customers that will look after itself."
China's overseas quest for infant formula, the result of a deep distrust of domestic supply dating back to a contamination scandal in 2008, has been embraced by Ireland as an outlet for the extra milk it plans to produce when the European Union scraps a 30-year-old limit on output in 2015.
Mehigan said infant products were just part of a nutrition strategy that helped Kerry's revenue grow by 15 percent in Asian developing markets in the first half of 2013. Overall sales rose 1.1 percent to 2.9 billion euros.
That fed into 12 percent growth in adjusted earnings per share (EPS). The company, which also makes Wall's sausages and Cheesestrings snacks, maintained guidance for EPS growth of between 7 and 11 percent in 2013.
Mehigan said developing markets would continue to contribute significantly to growth and, while there were signs of life in the U.S. market, he said little had changed yet in the sluggish European economy. (Reporting by Padraic Halpin; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)
- WTO overcomes last minute hitch to reach its first global trade deal
- Colorado baker discriminated by denying gay couple wedding cake: judge
- Flights delayed as air pollution hits record in Shanghai
- U.S. freeze shows no sign of weekend melt after deadly storm
- Australia foreign minister downplays China air defense zone tension in visit