NestlÉ SA, the parent firm of
"Our business in developed markets grew 1.0 per cent, achieving sales of
According to the company, NestlÉ waters delivered growth in all three geographies, with operating margin increasing by 50 basis points to 9.4 per cent due to the division's growth and a high level of efficiencies in manufacturing and procurement.
Commenting on the results, Group Chief Executive Officer of
"Our response was to increase brand support, accelerate innovation, and to ensure our pricing was sensitive to consumer needs. This gave impetus to our real internal growth and, together with efficiencies and structural cost savings, contributed to our margin improvement and strong cash flow. We also intensified our portfolio management which resulted in some charges in 2013 but ensures we are putting our people and resources behind the best opportunities," he said.
He said the long-term strategic direction is to be the leader in nutrition, health and wellness.
"We reinforced this strategy with the creation of NestlÉ Health Science, and we are extending it now to the field of specialised medical skin treatments by setting up NestlÉ Skin Health S.A" he said.
Bulcke said like 2013, this year will also be challenging.
"We will continue to be disciplined in driving our performance in line with the NestlÉ model of profitable growth and resource efficiency. I therefore expect our 2014 performance to be similar to last year and again weighted to the second half, outperforming the market, with growth around five per cent and improvements in margins, underlying earnings per share in constant currencies and capital efficiency," he said.
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