Nestlé looks to marketing to offset tough 2012

Nestlé, the world’s largest food maker by revenue, says it will ramp up focus on marketing and product innovation as it looks to offset what it predicts will be a tough 2012.

KitKat

The company posted better than expected sales growth of 7.5% across its brand portfolio, which includes Haagen Dazs and Kit Kat, in 2011 with growth in both emerging and developed markets.

Growth is expected to be no higher than 6% in the coming year because of depressed demand in European and North American markets.

Nestlé chief executive Paul Bulcke, however, says that despite the “challenging” year to come its commitment to brand building and product innovation will help mitigate volatile markets.

“Our innovation is creating opportunities in all categories, whether bringing new consumers to our brands in emerging markets, or building on our consumers’ engagement with our brands in the developed world,” he adds.

Despite growing sales, net profit fell to 9.49bn Swiss francs (£6.52bn) from 34.23bn Swiss francs (£23.51bn) in 2010.

Previous year profit was bolstered by the sale of its stake in eye care company Alcon.

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