Nestlé up in first quarter but volatility expected

Horse meat scandal and cold spring hit European performance

Sales at Nestl€, the world’s largest food company, rose 4.3 per cent to 21.9 billion Swiss francs (€18 billion). Photograph: Keystone/Fabrice Coffrini

Sales at Nestl€, the world’s largest food company, rose 4.3 per cent to 21.9 billion Swiss francs (€18 billion). Photograph: Keystone/Fabrice Coffrini

 

Nestlé’s first-quarter sales growth undershot rival Danone’s after some retailers in Asia cut inventories back to match poor demand, and the destruction of a key Middle East factory in Syria slowed supplies.

In Europe, a cold spring hit consumption of bottled water and ice-cream, while a horse meat scandal and pizza and chocolate egg recalls turned off consumers already counting pennies in austere conditions.

“Organic growth [is] likely [to] come in at the lower end of our 5-6 per cent guidance,” investor relations head Roddy Child-Villiers told a conference call.

Sales at the world’s largest food company rose 4.3 per cent to 21.9 billion Swiss francs (€18 billion).

Sales growth in Asia, Oceania and Africa slowed to 4.4 per cent overall, from 8.4 per cent in full-year 2012. – (Reuters)