Nestlé sales hurt by weakened dollar
company has managed to stay within its targets for organic growth
and claims that it is "cautiously optimistic" for 2004.
The company's sales dropped from SF89.2 billion to SF88 billion, while operating margin decreased from 11.1 per cent in 2002 to 10.1 per cent in 2003.
But organic growth increased within the company's expectations by 5.1 per cent, although the weakness of the dollar had a neagtive impact of 7.6 per cent of the group's sales.
The company suggested that at current currency levels its organic sales would have grown at 6.3 per cent.
The US dollar's negative effect, combined with restructuring costs, had the overall effect of pushing down the company's net profit from SF7.5 billion in 2002 to SF6.2 billion.
Peter Brabeck, the group's CEO, said that the results showed a "strong performance in an adverse economic and political environment, with powerful currency headwinds for the third successive year".
The CEO claimed that the group's leading market positions and global reach left it in a strong position for a more positive 2004. All zones witnessed positive organic growth during the year.
François-Xavier Perroud, the company's corporate spokesman, told www.DairyReporter.com that the company expected growth in emerging countries in 2004. In particular, ice cream sales were expected to increase, he said, although there would be little growth in the western European market.