Nestlé reports third consecutive year of organic growth

The Nestlé Group has reported its full year results for 2020 with organic growth reaching 3.6 per cent, supported by strong growth in the Americas, Purina PetCare and Nestlé Health Science.

Reporting in Swiss francs, the Swiss-headquartered company reported an 8.9 per cent decrease in sales revenue to CHF 84.3 billion. Sales revenue in the Asia, Oceania and sub-Saharan Africa region accounted for CHF 20.7bn of that total.

By product category, the largest contributor to growth was Purina PetCare and its premium brands Purina Pro Plan, Purina ONE and Felix.

Dairy saw high single-digit growth, based on increased demand for home-baking products and fortified affordable milks. Coffee reported mid-single-digit growth, boosted by strong consumer demand for Starbucks products, Nespresso and Nescafé. Sales of Starbucks products reached CHF 2.7 billion, generating incremental sales of more than CHF 400 million in 2020.

Prepared dishes and cooking aids posted mid-single-digit growth, with momentum across most categories during lockdowns. Vegetarian and plant-based food offerings continued to see strong double-digit growth, despite reduced demand in out-of-home channels due to the pandemic.

Sales in Nestlé Health Science grew at a double-digit rate, reflecting higher demand for products that support health and the immune system.

Growth in confectionery was slightly negative, with reduced demand for impulse and gifting products. Water reported a decrease in sales due to its high exposure to out-of-home channels.

Mark Schneider, Nestlé CEO, commented: “2020 was a year of hardship for so many, yet I am inspired by the way it has brought all of us closer together. I want to thank our employees and our partners – from farmers to retailers – who worked with us to ensure the supply of food and beverages to communities globally.

“In this unprecedented environment, we achieved our third consecutive year of improvement in organic growth, profitability and return on invested capital.

“The global pandemic did not slow us down. Our nutrition expertise, digital capabilities, decentralised structure and innovation engine allowed us to adapt quickly to changing consumer behaviours and trends. We advanced our portfolio transformation, continued to build Nestlé Health Science into a nutrition powerhouse and expanded our presence in direct-to-consumer businesses.

“At the same time, we remained focused on sustainability and set out our path to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This journey is expected to support future growth and be earnings neutral – it will generate value for society and our shareholders.

“Looking to 2021, we expect continued improvement in organic growth, profitability and capital efficiency in line with our value creation model.”

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