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    Nestle profits up 20.9 per cent last year

    Photo: iStock

    Swiss food giant Nestle Thursday said net profits last year rose 20.9 percent to 11.2 billion Swiss francs (£10.1bn) after increasing prices of its products to offset growing costs.

    The maker of Nespresso, Maggi seasonings, Purina pet foods and the Smarties range of sweets said turnover fell 1.5 per cent to 93 billion Swiss francs due as a rising Swiss franc and a slight fall in sales volumes balanced out higher prices.

    Currency moves knocked 7.8 per cent off global revenue.

    Stripping out currency effects and acquisitions or divestments, sales grew 7.2 per cent in value terms and fell 0.3 per cent in volume.

    The results were marginally below expectations. Analysts polled by Swiss news agency AWP had on average expected net profit of 12.1 billion francs.

    “Unprecedented inflation over the last two years has increased pressure on many consumers and impacted demand for food and beverage products,” Nestle chief executive Mark Schneider said in a statement.

    “Looking to 2024, we are prioritising volume- and mix-led growth with increased brand support, as we enhance value for consumers through active innovation and renovation, premiumisation, affordability and more nutritious options,” he said.

    The company said it’s targeting organic growth of 4 per cent this year and a slight increase in operating margins.

    Nestle is proposing a dividend of three francs a share, up 0.05 francs from the previous year.

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