March 3, 2007/Irish Independent -- A huge rise in energy costs was yesterday blamed for a slowdown in earnings growth at food industry giantKerry Group.

The group posted a marginal 1pc rise in earnings but saw its pre-tax figure drop by almost 30pc, from 298m to 221m, for the year to the end of December 2006.

Chief executive Hugh Friel described 2006 as a "difficult" one for the global food industry and this was particularly the case during the first half of the year.
From the March 13, 2007, Prepared Foods e-Flash