Softer demand slows rate of Nestle sales growth

by Staff
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VEVEY, SWITZERLAND — Foreign exchange and acquisitions helped contribute to an 11% increase in sales during the latest nine-month period at Nestle S.A., but softer demand in both emerging and developed markets limited and slowed down the rate of growth.

During the January through September period, the company had sales of 67,568 million Swiss francs ($73,219 million) which compared with sales of 60,889 million Swiss francs during the same period of the previous year.

“Nestlé's growth in the first nine months is in line with our expectations,” said Paul Bulcke, chief executive officer. “It is the result of the capabilities built over time in innovation, distribution and engaging with consumers. We delivered double-digit growth in emerging markets, where we are expanding our routes to market and enhancing our product offerings. We grew in the intensely competitive developed markets in spite of a general economic malaise and low levels of consumer confidence. Our continued momentum in real internal growth, combined with some easing of input cost pressures, allows us to confirm our full-year outlook.”

Zone Americas had sales of 20,892 million Swiss francs ($22,642 million), up 9% from 19,131 million Swiss francs during the same period of the previous year. The company said the market for frozen meals and pizza continued to decline in North America, but Stouffer’s and Lean Cuisine performance improved.

The company said it is positioned to deliver organic growth of 5% to 6%, improved margin and underlying earnings per share in constant currencies.

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