VEVEY, SWITZERLAND — Sales at Nestle S.A. in the three months ended March 31 totaled 21,264 million Swiss francs ($21,971 million), up 1.4% from 20,975 million Swiss francs in the same period a year ago.
“We are pleased to report a solid start to the year, with all regions contributing to our growth,” said Mark Schneider, chief executive officer. “Our volume growth improved noticeably while pricing remained soft. We are encouraged by our innovation pipeline, continued progress with the implementation of our portfolio management strategy and our efficiency initiatives. Combined with the organic sales development, they put us on track for our 2018 guidance and our 2020 mid-term targets.”
In Zone Americas, sales in the first three months of fiscal 2018 fell 4% to 6.8 billion Swiss francs from 7.1 billion Swiss francs in the same period a year ago. Nestle said the trading environment in Brazil continued to be challenging while business in the United States returned to positive growth.
“We continued to see strong growth of Coffee Mate,” Nestle said. “The U.S. confectionery business, which was divested at the end of March, weighed on results for the quarter.”
Nestle confirmed its full-year guidance for 2018, noting it expects organic sales growth of between 2% and 4%, and underlying trading operating margin improvement in line with its 2020 target. The company expects restructuring costs of about 700 million Swiss francs.