On Feb. 14, 2019, Nestlé reported its annual results for 2018 and announced 3 percent organic growth due to a surge in the US, China and infant nutrition sectors. While the company reported increased sales of CHF 91.4 billion, it also announced that it would explore strategic options for the Herta charcuterie—cold cuts and meat-based products—business as a further step in positioning the portfolio towards attractive, high-growth categories.
Nestlé CEO, Mark Schneider said, “We are pleased with our progress in 2018. All financial performance metrics improved significantly, and we saw revived growth in our two largest markets, the US and China, as well as in our infant nutrition business. Nestlé keeps investing in future growth and—at the same time—has increased the amount of cash returned to shareholders through our dividend and share buyback program.”
“We made significant progress with our portfolio transformation and sharpened our Group’s strategic focus, strengthening key growth categories and geographies in the process. Our unique Nutrition, Health & Wellness strategy, with food, beverage and nutritional health products at its core, has become much clearer as we completed a sizeable number of transactions and announced strategic reviews for Nestlé Skin Health and Herta,” Schneider said.
For 2019 Nestlé expects continued improvement in organic sales growth and underlying trading operating profit margin towards its 2020 targets, as well as underlying earnings per share in constant currency and capital efficiency are expected to increase.