KitKat maker Nestle sees sales growth below target in another challenging year

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KitKat maker Nestle expects another challenging year that could see it undershoot its long-term targets again, after pressure on prices in Europe and weaker emerging market demand slowed sales growth to 4.6 per cent in 2013.

Nestlé, which also owns brands including Nescafé, Häagen-Dazs and Smarties, saw global sales miss long-term targets because of weak emerging markets and the continued downturn in Europe.

Meanwhile, the Yorkie chocolate brand helped to boost UK sales.

Sales of Yorkie, which are made at the company’s York factory, grew by 31.6 per cent in 2013. The brand has grown by over 50 per cent in the last two years fuelled by TV ads and the launch of Yorkie Man Sized Buttons.

Other popular chocolate brands included Breakaway, which saw sales rise by 21.2 per cent.

Sales of Milky Bar, which are also made in York, were up 7.4 per cent.

The group said that, as in 2013, it was targeting “around five per cent” organic sales growth this year, below its long-term goal of five-to-six per cent.

UK sales were up five per cent last year, with the company also benefiting from the continued boost in home-coffee machine sales. Sales of its Nescafé Dolce Gusto coffee pods saw a 32 per cent jump in 2013.

Daniel Rajkumar

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