Nestlé has reported strong sales figures in its first-quarter results driven by sales growth in Europe and increased sales across the company’s product range.
Nestlé’s overall sales increased 1.4% year-on-year to CHF 21.3 billion ($21.9 billion), while sales in Europe, the Middle-East and North Africa increased 6.3% to CHF 4.7 billion ($4.85 billion) thanks to the relaunch of Nescafé Gold in the UK and increased demand for infant nutrition and dairy products in the Middle East.
The company’s Nutrition & Health Science products were the company’s strongest performers in terms of sales growth, with recorded sales of CHF 3.8 billion ($3.9 billion) representing organic growth of 4.1% compared to last year’s figures.
Nestlé’s $2.3 billion acquisition of vitamin and supplement manufacturer Atrium Innovations was fully-consolidated at the beginning of March, and this contributed to increased sales growth of 2.7% by Nestlé’s ‘Other Businesses’.
However, the sale of the company’s US confectionery business to Ferrero weighed on Nestlé’s results in the Americas, as sales fell 4.2% to CHF 6.8 billion ($7 billion) from last year’s CHF 7.1 billion ($7.3 billion).
Despite this, organic growth in the Americas actually increased 1.2%, driven by the strong performance of the Coffee Mate brand and increased sales from the company’s petcare business.
Sales in Asia, Oceania and sub-Saharan Africa increased 2.3% to CHF 5.3 billion ($5.5 billion), while organic growth in the region rose 4.7%, which the company partly attributed to the timing of Chinese New Year and the strong performance of the KitKat and Maggi brands.
Mark Schneider, Nestlé CEO said: “We are pleased to report a solid start to the year, with all regions contributing to our growth. Our volume growth improved noticeably while pricing remained soft.
“We are encouraged by our innovation pipeline, continued progress with the implementation of our portfolio management strategy and our efficiency initiatives.
“Combined with the organic sales development, they put us on track for our 2018 guidance and our 2020 mid-term targets.”
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