Oct. 17 - Nestle blames weak demand in Europe and Asia for missing its sales target in the third quarter. Hayley Platt looks at the outlook for the world's biggest food group.
4.4 percent is today's daily digit - underlying sales at Nestle in the first nine months of the year. The figures were well below last year's 6.1 percent but - unlike its rival Unilever - the world's biggest food group did see a near 9% improvement in emerging markets where it makes almost half its sales. None of Nestle's markets saw a fall - despite poor consumer demand in austerity-hit Europe. As a result Nestle shares rose almost 2 percent although BGC's Mike Ingram says there could yet be pain from Asia. SOUNDBITE: Mike Ingram, Market Strategist, BGC Partners, saying (English): "They're talking about difficulties in China and of course China as an economy was a concern back in the summer, rather less so over recent months but as I've said recently I'm not convinced that they've necessarily turned the corner there." The Swiss-based firm has trimmed its full year growth target by a fifth to around 5 percent. Earlier this week French yogurt maker Danone announced a similar growth target in the wake of product recalls and a bribery scandal in China.