Nestlé S.A. - Shareholder/Analyst Call

Nestle Sa Reg Shrs S (NSRGY.PK)

April 19, 2012 8:30 am ET


Peter Brabeck-Letmathe - Chairman, Chairman of Chairmans & Corporate Governance Committee and Member of Nomination Committee

Paul Bulcke - Chief Executive Officer, Member of Executive Board, Director and Member of Chairmans & Corporate Governance Committee


Peter Brabeck-Letmathe

Ladies and gentlemen, dear shareholders, once again, I have the privilege to report to you that your company has had a very successful year with strong results. With organic growth of 7.5% and 60 basis points margin improvement, we have delivered the Nestlé Model for the 16th consecutive year. This solid performance, both top and bottom line, allows us to propose to you an increased dividend of CHF 1.95 per share. At the same time, we have continued to invest to ensure your company's growth in the future.

Highlights of last year being the first year of operations of Nestlé Health Science and Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences as well as the creation of important new partnerships in China.

Our CEO, Mr. Paul Bulcke, will present the operational results in detail. Let me just stress at this point how solid the performance of the company has been and continues to be over time. Year after year, we have been adding through internal growth, that is to say, through our own efforts, the equivalent of a new multibillion Swiss franc company. This growth drive has not once been interrupted in spite of a very difficult external environment.

Ladies and gentlemen, since the beginning of 2006, Nestlé has created CHF 85 billion of additional shareholder value. Recent times have been characterized by a whole host of events, developments and crises, economics, social and political ranging from the unexpected to the dramatic. Yet, the strong management of Paul Bulcke and his team has stayed the course, steered Nestlé with a steady hand through these turbulent times and seized new opportunities that always arise whatever the circumstances.

And ultimately, it is the motivation, the professionalism, the creativity, but also the global alignment and the hard work of all our employees, now 328,000 persons, that make these results possible.

Looking back on another successful year, I want to say to each one of them and express to each one of them my sincere thanks for another job well done. And I know that I'm also speaking on behalf of all of you.

Thank you for this applause and expression of thanks for our employees. And I now invite Paul, Chief Executive Officer, to present the results.

Paul Bulcke

Thank you, Peter, and good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, dear shareholders. Ladies and gentlemen, our company achieved a solid performance in 2011 with excellent results at both emerging and developed markets and across all categories. These results were achieved in what was a particularly challenging year. Unprecedented events have been unfolding that are changing the face of the world in many unexpected ways and these events are still unfolding. This indeed, economic, financial, political and social area. We have seen continued subdued consumer demand in the Western world and raw material costs have risen considerably. At the same time, Europe has been going through an economic and monetary crisis and many countries have faced political turbulence.

But despite such a challenging environment, our company delivered very good results and these came on top of the good performances achieved in previous years. Our total group sales amounted to CHF 83.6 billion, with organic growth of 7.5%. Our trading operating profit was CHF 12.5 billion, with a margin of 15%, up 60 basis points.

The group delivered a net profit of CHF 9.5 billion, up 8.1% on a continuing basis. Our underlining earnings per share of CHF 3.08 were up 7.8% in constant currencies. On the other hand, our operating cash flow was CHF 9.8 billion, at a level similar to that of 2010, excluding Alcon's cash flow in 2010 and the impact of foreign exchange in 2011.

At the same time, we continue to invest in our capabilities, capacities, operations and R&D. We also continued our efforts to drive out waste, improve operating efficiency and leverage our scale. We invested heavily in our people. These initiatives ensure that we are able to face challenges and seize opportunities now and in the future.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me briefly explain the reasons for our success in 2011. The first reason for our success is based on our company's ability to understand and anticipate the changing context in which we operate, to see the various challenges, as well as the opportunities.

Indeed, the current environment is characterized by, amongst other things, major public debt in developed countries, a tendency towards overregulation and slower economic growth in many countries.

And yet, this environment also offers us many new opportunities, such as the heightened awareness of healthier lifestyles, aging populations with specific nutritional needs, the emergence of new sciences and technologies and, above all, 80% of the global population aspiring to, and working for, a better future.

These changes are fundamental and here to stay. They form what we might call a new reality. To win in this new reality characterized by uncertainty and volatility, we need to be even more creative and proactive than before, whilst at the same time, implementing our strategies quickly and flawlessly.

Our strategic roadmap, which we have shared with you in previous years, is a key driver in this. It sets out clearly what Nestlé wants to be, the competitive advantages we aim to leverage, our growth drivers and the organization we have chosen to be effective. The roadmap enables us to be decentralized and thus, fast-moving, proactive and entrepreneurial in countries around the world. Furthermore, this roadmap helps us to be coordinated and aligned and to share our values across all our markets.

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