Nestlé sales dip while boss blames ‘unprecedented inflation’

KitKat manufacturer Nestlé experienced lower-than-expected full-year sales as it blamed inflation for weaker consumer demand.

Its net profit increased by 20.9% to £10.7bn (11.2bn Swiss francs), however the Nescafe coffee maker said total reported sales were down 1.5% at £83bn (93bn Swiss francs).

This was most prevalent in Greater China, where sales dropped 5.9%, however, areas like North America and Europe also saw a 1.3% and 0.2% decrease respectively.

The FMCG giant, which owns brands such as Aero, Maggi stock cubes and pet care brand Purina, saw confectionery sales rise with double-digit growth for KitKat.

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Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider said “unprecedented inflation” impacted the business and it would now focus on prioritising volume and brand support.

Schneider said: “Looking to 2024, we are prioritising volume- and mix-led growth with increased brand support, as we enhance value for consumers through active innovation and renovation, premiumisation, affordability and more nutritious options.

“We will continue to focus capital allocation on our fast-growing billionaire brands, which enables us to deliver dependable growth while enhancing brand loyalty. 

“To drive market share gains, our key priorities are delighting consumers through differentiated offerings and focusing on superior execution. We are confident that we have the right strategy, portfolio and capabilities to deliver on our 2025 targets.

Elsewhere, the FMCG behemoth revealed that it was reviewing operations practices in its natural mineral water operations in several countries, following a “transformation plan” in France.

It follows Nestlé Water confirming a report published in French publication Les Echos, admitting it treats some of its bottled mineral water, an illegal move which breaks French regulation.

The company said felt “regret” over the situation, but stated that its “water products have always been, and remain, safe to drink”.



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