LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND — “By being a Nestle shareholder, as well as investing in a company capable of guaranteeing you a first-rate financial return, you are also putting your faith in a company that is having a positive impact on society and in its future,” said Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chairman of Nestle S.A. Mr. Brabeck-Letmathe spoke April 7 before an audience of 2,853 shareholders at the Nestle annual meeting in Lausanne. In his talk, he hailed publication in 2015 of the United Nations “Sustainable Development Goals” for 2030 as a landmark development. These objectives hold the potential to “make a real impact in coming years,” he said, promising Nestle is “committed to actively contribute.”
In the year ended Dec. 31, 2015, Nestle profits totaled 9,467 million Swiss francs ($9,908 million), down from 14,904 million in 2014. Sales were 88,785 million Swiss francs ($92,923 million), down from 91,612 million. Excluding gains from the 2014 sale of the company’s stake in L’Oreal, profits were up 6.5%.
“We delivered this performance in 2015 while at the same time continuing to invest substantially in the future, in research and development, in our brands and our new health and nutrition platforms as well as in our organization and our employees,” Mr. Brabeck-Letmathe said. “In this way, we ensure that we have the right initiatives, skills and expertise to grasp the numerous opportunities around us to continue to deliver profitable growth. It is this balance between delivering today and building for the future that characterizes Nestle.”