Nestlé, the world’s biggest food company, reported record earnings for last year as price increases helped offset rising costs for raw material and energy. The company also benefited from favourable exchange rates during the year with many of its key trading currencies appreciating against the Swiss franc. Net profit rose 20.7% at 5.1 billion euros.
Beverages did best, with sales up 8.2% at 15.3 billion euros. Almost 15 billion euros worth of milk products were sold, 10.7 billion euros of prepared foods, sales of chocolate and biscuits reached nearly seven billion and pet foods almost the same. Sales in Europe were relatively weak, growth was just 2%, but much stronger in the Americas and emerging markets. The company warned that oil costs and a volatile political environment may affect business this year but it expects higher profit margin at its core food and beverage business.