Nestle profit up 16% in year

by Staff
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VEVEY, SWITZERLAND — Growth in all segments helped boost profit 16% at Nestle in 2007.

The company posted a net profit of 10,649 million Swiss francs ($9,774 million), up from 9,179 million Swiss francs in 2006. Sales for the year were 107,552 million Swiss francs ($98,715 million), up 9% from 98,458 million Swiss francs during the previous year.

"This milestone performance was achieved in a difficult external environment and for the twelfth year in a row has demonstrated the power of the Nestle model — organic growth of at least 5% to 6% coupled with a sustainable EBIT margin improvement, irrespective of prevailing economic conditions," said Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chairman and chief executive officer. "Nestle is now uniquely positioned as the world’s foremost nutrition, health and wellness company with leading brands, global geographic spread and an exceptional management team."

Zone Americas had sales of 32,917 million Swiss francs ($48,768 million) with 3.3% real internal growth and 8.1% organic growth for the year.

"Nestle has ventured far beyond the traditional food industry, our success is now driven more by our capacity to innovate and use our R.&D. pipeline to launch new, added-value products and services than by raw material prices or the economic climate," Mr. Brabeck-Letmathe said. "Combined with our strong emphasis on excellence in execution and discipline in capital management, we have over time created powerful momentum that will deliver profitable growth for years to come."

The company said it expects to achieve organic growth of 5% and 6% in 2008 along with continued EBIT margin improvement in constant currencies as well as further capital efficiency improvement.

"The Nestle model, combined with the ongoing ambitious share buyback program, will deliver strong earnings per share growth resulting in industry-outperforming, long-term shareholder value creation," the company said.

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