Nestle shrugs off COVID-19 impact thanks to pet food and health nutrition

ZURICH (Reuters) – Nestle NESN.S raised its guidance for 2020 organic sales growth to around 3% after beating third-quarter expectations on Wednesday with 4.9% growth driven by strong demand for pet food, coffee and health products.

The world’s biggest food group has weathered the COVID-19 pandemic better than some peers as its focus on high-growth categories helped offset a slump in food sales to restaurants and cafes.

In contrast, French peer Danone DANO.PA announced an extensive review this week that could lead to disposals after its like-for-like sales fell 2.5% in the third quarter.

Unilever ULVR.L is due to release a trading statement on Thursday.

Shares in Nestle, up 2.5% so far this year, rose 1.6% at 0706 GMT.

Kepler Cheuvreux analyst Jon Cox said Nestle remained his preferred pick in food, while Vontobel’s Jean-Philippe Bertschy called it a “must-have stock”, set to emerge a winner from the pandemic.

Demand

Read More