NESTLE said yesterday that an improvement in emerging market demand helped to lift sales growth in the third quarter, reassuring investors worried by recent negative news from European peers Danone and Unilever.
The world’s biggest food group and its rivals have been grappling with sluggish consumer demand in austerity-hit Europe, where prices for Nestle’s products continued to fall, and a slowdown in many emerging markets.
But Nestle said yesterday that it had seen a slight pick-up across all its markets, which helped to boost its share price by two per cent in morning trade.
Underlying sales, stripping out the effects of foreign exchange, acquisitions and divestments, grew 4.4 per cent in the first nine months of the year, helped by improvements in all three of Nestle’s geographical regions – Asia, Oceania and Africa, Europe and the Americas.
That was slower than the 6.1 per cent in the same period last year but slightly better than the 4.1 per cent growth in the first half. In emerging markets sales were up by 8.8 per cent, against 8.2 per cent growth in the first half.
Group sales at the maker of KitKat chocolate bars and Maggi soups rose to SwFr68.4bn (£47bn).
City A.M. Reporter