Nestle, the world’s largest food manufacturer, has romped to better than expected sales this year.
The company, which produces Nescafe and Kit Kat, said yesterday its sales were 5.8 per cent higher for the first nine months.
Switzerland-based Nestle also reaffirmed its targets of 5-6 per cent organic growth for the full year as the markets digested its CHF67.7bn (£29.6bn) sales.
Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chairman and CEO, said the acceleration of core food and beverage operations was broad based.
He announced a new share buy-back programme. The earlier programme is now 80 per cent complete.
Nestle is weathering higher input costs that have been hurting rivals such as Kraft, Danone, and Cadbury Schweppes. The latter said earlier this month it was unlikely to meet its margin targets this year.
Sales in America and Canada of its Purina PetCare, prepared food and ice cream products helped boost sales figures by 7.3 per cent in the Americas, with growth in Latin America up 8.9 per cent.
The company said Brazil was contributing to growing sales while Mexico and smaller nations in the region were showing strong organic growth. Asian sales were up 7 per cent, but sales in Europe have only gone up 1.6 per cent.
Brabeck was delivering the results at a time of heightened speculation over succession plans. He is expected to stand down as head of the global empire in two to three years’ time.
Last month, an outsider from Procter & Gamble was announced as the new chief financial officer. The appointment of 49-year-old Paul Polman has prompted speculation that he might be among candidates being groomed.