SWITZERLAND: Nestlé Reports Weak H1 Figures; Expects Improvement

Nestlé has reported a weak set of results for its fiscal first half, but said it remained confident of an improved performance in the next six months.  The world’s largest food group also stuck to its full-year forecasts.

For the half, net profit was down 9.8% to 4.1bn Swiss francs, but this was due to one-off items.  Sales grew by 3.5% on an organic basis to 43.2bn francs, while volumes were up 2.8%.

Nestlé said its Waters division reported a 4.2% increase in organic sales to 3.94bn francs, with Nutrition up 1.3% to 5.17bn, while its Other businesses recorded a 4.2% rise.  Sales grew in all its regions, with the Americas recording the strongest rise at 5.1%.

The group said it still expects to see organic sales growth come in line with last year’s 4.2%, while also expecting improved margins and underlying earnings per share.

CEO Paul Bulcke noted: “While we continued to address challenges in China, we enjoyed good performances across the US, Europe, South East Asia and Latin America and expect this to continue in the second half.  We also expect pricing, which reached historically low levels in the first half, to recover somewhat in the coming months.”

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