Confectionery giant Nestlé is expecting organic sales to rise in 2019. following revived growth performance in China and the US last year.
“We are pleased with our progress in 2018. All financial performance metrics improved significantly and we saw revived growth in our two largest markets, the US and China, as well as in our infant nutrition business. Nestlé keeps investing in future growth and – at the same time – has increased the amount of cash returned to shareholders through our dividend and share buyback program,” Mark Schneider, Nestlé CEO said.
“We made significant progress with our portfolio transformation and sharpened our Group’s strategic focus, strengthening key growth categories and geographies in the process. Our unique Nutrition, Health & Wellness strategy, with food, beverage and nutritional health products at its core, has become much clearer as we completed a sizeable number of transactions and announced strategic reviews for Nestlé Skin Health and Herta.”
Organic sales grew 3.0 per cent in the full year with RIG of 2.5 per cent for the full year. Net acquisitions increased sales by 0.7 per cent, due to the acquisitions of the Starbucks license and Atrium Innovations. North America also showed solid growth in Purina petcare including Pro Plan, Fancy Feast and Tidycat, and online. Coffee-mate creamers and Nestlé Professional also maintained high growth.
The confectionery giant also reported positive growth after launching Nescafé Gold and KitKat Gold in Australia. Overall for Oceania and Asia, infant nutrition, Purina petcare and Nestlé Professional grew mid single-digit, helped by a strong performance in the second half. The Zone’s underlying trading operating profit margin improved by 60 basis.
Nespresso reported positive growth across all regions, continuing to expand globally, reaching 792 boutiques.
“In 2018, we upgraded our innovation engine notably to ensure continued technology leadership and a shorter time to market. In the fast-changing food and beverage space Nestlé has what it takes to truly excite consumers with meaningful innovation and must-have products,” Schneider said.
“We reaffirmed our sustainability leadership at a time when consumers and regulators around the world are increasingly looking for solutions to today’s environmental and societal problems. Our decisive action and strong commitments to tackle the global packaging waste problem are a case in point. We are on our way to meeting our 2020 targets and positioning Nestlé for sustained and sustainable growth in the years beyond.”
Nestlé also announced on Thursday that the company is proposing an election of Dick Boer, former president and CEO of Ahold Delhaize, and Dinesh Paliwal, president and CEO of Harman International, to its Board of Directors.