Nestle has reported weak sales growth in the UK for the first nine months of 2014, despite improvements across the rest of Europe.
In the company's results statement, published on Thursday (October 16th), Nestle said that nations such as Spain, Portugal, France, Austria and the Netherlands had contributed to small European growth. The UK, Germany and Italy had not matched the performance of their neighbours.
Nestle noted that its Waters product had performed well over the continent while other brands such as Perrier, Vittel and San Pellegrino had all made strong growth over the year. This was despite many parts of Europe experiencing relatively cooler summers. The company noted that UK, France and Belgium were "the highlights" in this sector.
As a whole Nestle recorded organic growth of 4.5 per cent including 2.3 per cent of real internal growth and 2.2 per cent of pricing. The company reported sales of CHF 66.2 billion (£43.6 billion) making growth progress in all of its geographies. Asia, Oceania and Africa was the top performer at 6.5 per cent followed by the Americas (5.1 per cent) and Europe (1.4 per cent).
Paul Bulcke, Nestle chief executive officer, said: “In a volatile global trading environment where there are no tailwinds, we achieved good broad-based growth. While focusing on delivery today, we have taken decisions that reshape and strengthen our business for tomorrow."
On European soil it was Russia that was identified as the "star performer" with increasing sales of ice cream and confectionery leading to double digit growth. Neighbour Ukraine was also found to have reported strong growth during the period despite growing tensions between the government and separatists in the east of the country.
Nestle's overall performance in Europe saw it post sales of CHF 11.1 billion, an organic growth of one per cent and two per cent real internal growth.