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Nestlé plans $20 billion buyback

By Ramla Soni

As it confirms its annual goals, Nestlé reveals that each of its product categories has seen positive growth, led by Purina PetCare and Nescafé

Nestlé has decided to distribute up to 10.2 billion Swiss francs ($20.1bn) to its shareholders during the period 2020 to 2022, in the form of share buybacks, the world’s biggest food and drinks maker has revealed.

The company moved to return money to shareholders after it completed the sale of its skin health business for CHF10.2bn on October 1, 2019.

The Nescafé and KitKat maker also delivered in-line sales growth in the first nine months of the year, led by strong growth in Purina pet food and baby formula adding to its annual targets.

Total sales increased by 2.9 per cent to CHF68.4bn from CHF66.4 bn in 2018 and net acquisitions had a positive impact of 0.7pc with foreign exchange reducing sales by 1.5pc.

Organic sales growth, a key industry metric that minuses the effect of currency movements and portfolio changes, was 3.7pc.

The newly launched Starbucks products saw strong demand with further expansion into new countries. Nestlé Health Science showed good progress with high single-digit growth in the third quarter.

Growth in water remained subdued, reflecting high pricing comparables and a disappointing summer season in Europe, the company said.

Nestlé expects organic sales growth around 3.5pc and the full-year underlying trading operating profit margin at or above 17.5pc.

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