Nestle upbeat as sales beat forecasts
Nestle, the world's biggest food company, reported a 2011 sales growth that beat analysts' estimates and forecast higher 2012 earnings as it introduces products such as the Nescafe Alegria coffee-maker.
Sales rose 7.5pc excluding acquisitions, disposals and currency shifts, the Swiss company said yesterday. That beat the 7pc average estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Nestle forecast higher underlying earnings per share at constant currencies in 2012.
Nestle has developed cooking aids and smoothies to counter weakening consumer sentiment in North America and Europe. The company has also passed on higher raw material costs to consumers in the form of increased prices.
Sales from its Americas unit gained 6.2pc, helped by the introduction of products such as pizzas.
Nestle shares closed at 55.60 Swiss francs, the highest closing price since late 2010.
Another Swiss company, Danone, which is the world's largest yogurt maker said yesterday that like-for-like sales will rise 5pc to 7pc in 2012 but warned that European consumer sentiment won't improve.