Swiss food and drink giant Nestle SA posted a modest 4% increase Thursday in sales of dozens of its household name brand products for the first nine months of 2012.
The Vevey, Switzerland-based company, whose business reflects the global economy, said it had sales of 68.4 billion Swiss francs ($74.5 billion) through September, up from a restated 65.7 billion Swiss francs during the same period in 2012.
The world's biggest food and drink company had previously reported its nine-month sales in 2012 as 67.6 billion Swiss francs through September, up from 60.9 billion during the same period in 2011.
"Our real internal growth has regained momentum and is broad-based across categories, price points and geographies. Most notably, Europe continues to grow and Asia and Africa have picked up speed," Nestle Chief Executive Paul Bulcke said.
But the maker of Nescafe, Jenny Craig and Haagen-Dazs, which last year at this time reported that its sales growth had slowed to 11% in the first nine months of 2012, acknowledged some headwinds in a statement issued before the opening of the Zurich exchange.
"Today's challenging environment is the right time for us to further reinforce the fundamentals of our business: those which drive growth like innovation, distribution and consumer engagement, and those which drive operational performance like strengthening our portfolio, improving our resource allocation and increasing our structural efficiency," Bulcke said.
"We expect our continued growth momentum to enable us to deliver around 5% organic growth for the full year," he added, "together with an improvement in margins and underlying earnings per share in constant currencies."
Earlier this year, Nestle had cautioned that it might not be able to meet its usual target of between 5 to 6% annual organic growth, a measure that removes the costs from recent acquisitions and fluctuations in currency.