Nestle Nine-Month Sales Fall, Backs 2017 Sales Guidance

By Anthony Shevlin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Nestle SA (NESN.EB) said Thursday its sales fell in the first nine months partly due to divestments, and confirmed its sales guidance for the year.

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Sales in the first nine months fell 0.4% to 65.27 billion Swiss francs ($66.57 billion), compared with CHF65.51 billion a year earlier.

The Swiss company said organic sales growth--excluding currency effects and acquisitions--rose 2.6% in the January-September period, adding that it now expects full-year organic growth to be around that level. Nestle had previously said it expected organic growth to be in the lower half of a 2%-4% range.

Organic sales growth is slightly above analyst expectations although the sales figure is below expectations. According to a consensus forecast of 24 analysts compiled by Nestle, analysts expected organic sales growth of 2.5% and sales of CHF65.58 billion.

Nestle Chief Executive Mark Schneider said the company continued to look for ways to improve margins and would thus have further restructuring and related expenses of CHF400 million to CHF500 million in 2017. Mr. Schneider expects Nestle's trading operating profit margin to decrease by 40 to 60 basis points, and its underlying margin on trading operating profit to rise by 20 basis points.

"The development of our underlying trading operating profit margin is fully in line with our expectations for 2017," Mr. Schneider said.

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Write to Anthony Shevlin at anthony.shevlin@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 19, 2017 02:13 ET (06:13 GMT)