Food giant Nestlé has had a strong quarter, pushing sales 3.7 % higher in the first nine months of the year on an organic basis. The group will reward its shareholders by means of a substantial share buyback programme.
USA and Brazil
Over the first three quarters of the year, Nestlé achieved a turnover of 68.4 billion Swiss francs (62 billion euros, an organic growth of 3.7%). The collaboration with Starbucks has really hit the spot. In addition, the company profited mainly from an increasing demand for Purina pet food: the 'pet care' division achieved an organic growth of 7.3 %. The group's various activities grew most strongly in the United States and Brazil.
The only downside in the figures was the water division: brands such as Perrier and San Pellegrino saw their sales drop by 2.5 %, a decrease that was compensated for by higher prices. Maurizio Patarnello, who is in charge of the water department, will leave the company at the end of this year. In addition, the business unit is to be further integrated into the group.
Over the period 2020-2022, Nestlé will pay out approximately 20 billion Swiss francs (18 billion euros) to its shareholders. This will predominantly be done by means of an extensive share buyback programme, although the group is not ruling out an additional dividend. The company is also maintaining its outlook for 2019, with organic revenue growth of 3.5 % and an operating margin of at least 17.5 %.