NIGERIA – Nestle Nigeria has said sales grew 9.7% to US$559.01 million in the nine months ended September 2018 from US$509.4 million in the comparable period in 2017, reports Beverage Industry News.

Net profit increased 44% to hit US$90.8 million, with the growth accelerating in the third quarter, helped by an 85% drop in net finance cost to US$3.49 million from US$23.6 million.

According to the company, the beverage segment grew 9% to US$203.7 million, accounting for 36% of business growth.

The food segment which includes Maggi, Cerelac, Nutrend, Nan, Lactogen and Golden Morn, accounting for 64% of group sales, rose 10% to US$355.2 million.

“Our growth is the result of our disciplined execution and investments in the expansion of our route to market; our marketing initiatives focused on nutrition awareness, as our consumers continue to trust us to deliver high quality, affordable, nutritious food products every day.

All of this is well supported by the dedication and professionalism of our people.

“To sustain our performance, we will continue to focus on creating an environment where our people can grow to their potential while delivering their best performance.

Driven by our purpose of enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future, we continue to create value for all stakeholders across our value chain as we source and deliver products adapted to local preferences,” said the company.

Revenue in the third quarter increased to US$559 million while profit before tax jumped from US$94.7 million in 2017 to US$132.1 million in 2018, representing a 39.5% increase year on year.

Following the release of the results, the company has declared an interim dividend of US$0.055 per share.

Nestle reported 34% increase in revenue for the full year 2017.

It said it will continue to invest behind brands and route-to-market activities while proactively managing input cost pressures to stay on the growth path.

In the year 2018, it plans to focus on growth through product innovation and renovation adapted to local tastes.