ZURICH (Reuters) -Nestle has nudged its 2022 sales outlook higher again, the world’s largest packaged food company said ahead of an investor seminar on Tuesday.
The company said it now expected organic sales growth of 8-8.5%, up from an October forecast of around 8%, and an underlying trading operating profit margin of around 17.0%.
Underlying earnings per share in constant currency terms and capital efficiency are also expected to increase, it added.
Organic growth, which cuts out the impact of currency movements and acquisitions, was 8.5% in the nine months to the end of September, the highest since 2008.
Nestle said it had decided to explore strategic options for peanut allergy treatment Palforzia following “slower than expected adoption” by patients and healthcare professionals. It expected the review to be completed in the first half of 2023.
Nestle confirmed it was aiming to repurchase 20 billion Swiss francs ($21.09 billion) worth of shares from 2022 to 2024 and said it had already bought around 9.7 billion francs worth.
The maker of KitKat chocolate and Nescafe coffee also reiterated its goal of increasing its dividend year on year in Swiss franc terms.
Nestle shares were indicated 0.8% higher in pre-market activity.
“Nestle is now looking to 2025 with strong self-confidence, as seen in the ambitious financial targets,” Vontobel analyst Jean-Philippe Bertschy wrote in a note to clients, calling the stock a “must have”.
“The higher end of the 17.5% to 18.5% margin range looks highly promising and exciting.”
($1 = 0.9485 Swiss francs)
(Reporting by Michael ShieldsEditing by Miranda Murray, Kirsten Donovan)