By Giulia Petroni

 

Nestle SA earlier Wednesday reported nine-month sales figures. Here is what we watched:

 

SALES: The Swiss food-and-beverage giant's sales in the period came in at 61.91 billion Swiss francs ($68.24 billion), down 9.4% compared with the previous year. A company-compiled consensus forecast had seen sales at CHF62.09 billion.

 

WHAT WE WATCHED:

-3Q GROWTH: Nestle reported organic sales growth of 4.9% in the third quarter. The result contributed to 3.5% organic sales growth in the nine months, which is above the 2.8% growth estimated by a company-compiled consensus.

-LIFTED GUIDANCE: Full-year organic sales growth is expected to be around 3%, from a prior forecast of between 2% and 3%, according to the company. The raise implies organic growth of 1.6% in the fourth quarter, according to analysts at RBC Capital Markets, which is similar to the second quarter but implies "a big step down" from the third quarter's 4.9%. "This seems conservative unless we hear to the contrary from Nestle," analysts at the bank say.

-PRODUCT TRENDS: Nestle's health-science unit reported strong double-digit growth in the first nine months of the year, reflecting consumers' increasing demand for products boosting health and the immune system during the pandemic. Organic growth was also driven by strong demand for pet food and coffee.

 

Write to Giulia Petroni at giulia.petroni@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 21, 2020 11:14 ET (15:14 GMT)

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