Generating value through our strategy
Nestlé creates value through a persistent focus on relevance, operational agility and executional excellence. As a company, we continuously evolve our product offerings to meet consumer needs and excite consumer preferences. We strive for a balanced pursuit of financial growth through rapid innovation, operational efficiency and resource allocation. Our long-term strategy ensures we deliver consistent, sustainable success.
Good food, Good life is good business
We focus our energy and resources where unlocking the power of food can make the greatest difference to the lives of people and pets, protect and enhance the environment, and generate significant value for our shareholders and other stakeholders alike. Products that are right for consumers and right for the planet are increasingly desirable and make for good business. This helps us be a force for good. Accordingly, we:
- Apply our expertise in nutrition, health and wellness - developed over more than 150 years - to help people, families and pets live happier, healthier lives.
- Bring affordable, safe and high-quality nutrition to consumers, regardless of income level, taking advantage of our long-standing presence around the world.
- Meet the needs of modern consumers with healthy, delicious, convenient products for conscious, time-constrained lifestyles.
- Strive to package and deliver our products in ways that are safe and protect the environment.
- Bring distinctive, premium innovations to market fueled by creative exploration and consumer insights, pioneering nutrition science and culinary excellence.
- Enhance our food systems and offer more plant-based food and beverage options to be consumers' first choice as they diversify their diets.
- Commit to ambitious sustainability goals to advance the health of the planet, drive societal progress and support sustainable, healthy food systems.
Our long-term value creation model is based on the balanced pursuit of top- and bottom-line growth as well as improved capital efficiency. We create value guided by three strategic pillars:
- Growth through continuous innovation.
- Operational efficiency.
- Resource and capital allocation with discipline and clear priorities, including through acquisitions and divestitures.
Sustained organic sales growth
We maintain a diversified portfolio, both in terms of geography and category. Our agility in changing environments and cultivation of our global, regional and local brands contribute to long-term financial performance. Our objective is to sustain a mid single-digit organic growth rate through rapid innovation, market share gains and portfolio management.
We compete in attractive and growing categories, and prioritize investments to stay relevant and win in every segment and market in which we operate. Our digital technologies help us identify emerging consumer needs and business model opportunities so we can bring differentiated innovation to market fast. We partner with customers across the retail landscape to adapt our product portfolio and channel strategies, leveraging our global brands to customize new products for local tastes and preferences.
- 31 of our trusted brands, including Maggi, Milo and Nido, generated over CHF 1 billion each in annual sales at the retail level.
- E-commerce sales represented 15.8% of sales and grew by 9.2%, and our digital marketing spend increased to 55%.
- Our premium offerings represented around 30% of sales and grew at a high single-digit rate.
- Plant-based products generated sales of around CHF 1 billion, posting high single-digit organic growth.
- Emerging markets represented 42% of sales and grew by 10%.
- Sales of affordable, accessible products - many nutrient-fortified - accounted for around 18% of emerging market sales and grew at a double-digit rate.
We focus on categories and geographies with attractive dynamics where Nestlé has an ability to win. Since 2017, we have completed or announced more than 100 transactions (acquisitions and divestitures) with annual sales equivalent to around 22% of 2017 Group sales.
In 2022, these included:
- Purchase of a majority stake in Orgain, a US leader in plant-based nutrition, with the option to fully acquire Orgain in 2024.
- Acquisition of Puravida, a premium Brazilian nutrition and health lifestyle brand, expanding the consumer health portfolio in Latin America.
- Acquisition of The Better Health Company in New Zealand, which includes the GO Healthy brand and New Zealand Health Manufacturing, expanding Nestlé Health Science's portfolio of vitamins, minerals and supplements in AOA.
- Acquisition of the Seattle's Best Coffee brand from Starbucks.
- Creating a partnership with L Catterton to bring together Freshly and Kettle Cuisine.
- Divestment of Gerber Good Start.
In 2022, Nestlé acquired a majority stake in Orgain, a leader in organic, plant-based nutrition in the United States, with a foundation in science, great taste and broad appeal.
We take decisive action to restore growth and profitability when businesses underperform. Nestlé has decided to explore strategic options for Palforzia, the peanut allergy treatment, following slower than expected adoption by patients and healthcare professionals. The review is expected to be completed in the first half of 2023. Going forward, Nestlé Health Science will sharpen its focus on Consumer Care and Medical Nutrition.
We have formed a partnership with L Catterton to bring together Freshly and Kettle Cuisine, a leading manufacturer of fresh artisanal foods for retail and foodservice customers. L Catterton will be the majority owner, with Nestlé holding a minority stake.
Operating more efficiently
We fuel our growth agenda through disciplined cost management, improving operational efficiency at all levels of the business. Alongside sales growth, this approach enables us to free up resources for reinvestment in product innovation, brand building, digitalization and sustainability initiatives, while creating value for our shareholders. Internal efficiency projects help us free up resources for investments by optimizing our skills and enhancing effectiveness and speed of our organization.
We continued to adapt our organization to be more agile, flexible and digitalized. In manufacturing, we continued to upgrade our operational footprint in 2022, increasing factory fixed overheads by around 6%. In procurement, increased global buying combined with a reduced number of product specifications helped us reduce costs and complexity. Global buying through our three purchasing hubs was 68% in 2022. In our administration, we continued to simplify and standardize processes.
As a percentage of sales based on a 5-quarter rolling average, working capital increased to 1.9% in 2022 due to our conscious decision to temporarily increase inventory levels. This decision, taken in the context of significant supply chain disruptions and the energy crisis in Europe, reflects our commitment to ensure continuity of supply.
Prudent allocation of capital
Our priorities are to invest in the long-term growth and development of our business, while increasing shareholder returns and creating shared value. Nestlé pursues a value creation model that balances growth in earnings per share, competitive shareholder returns, flexibility for external growth and access to financial markets. We will continue to invest to drive brand building, innovation, digitalization and sustainability.
Investing for the long term includes R&D investment, brand support and capital expenditure to support organic profitable growth. We focus on projects with the highest potential to create economic profit. We are accelerating our capital expenditure plans for our fast-growing categories, particularly coffee and pet care.
We are disciplined when it comes to mergers and acquisitions in order to protect our ROIC. We have a thorough project governance in place, with clear accountability and targets. Potential acquisitions must have a good strategic and cultural fit with our organization and offer attractive financial returns. We look for creative ways to structure transactions and build partnerships that enhance our strategic options.
We have demonstrated our commitment to maintaining a high level of reinvestment into the business while at the same time continually increasing capital returns to shareholders. We do this by increasing our dividend year after year. Based on our 2022 performance, the Board of Directors has proposed a dividend increase of 15 centimes to CHF 2.95 per share to be paid in April 2023. This will be our 28th consecutive annual dividend increase. As a result of our strong free cash flow generation and business disposals, we continued to return excess cash to shareholders through share buybacks. In 2022, Nestlé repurchased 92 million of its shares for a total amount of CHF 10.6 billion at an average price of CHF 115.36 per share. Nestlé plans to repurchase CHF 20 billion of its shares over the period 2022 to 2024.
Investing in strategic and high-growth regions and categories
~CHF 625 million
USD 675 million in new beverage facility in Glendale, Arizona
~CHF 315 million
USD 340 million in new Nescafé factory in Veracruz, Mexico
~CHF 50 million
BRL 300 million to support Neo launch in Nescafé factory in Montes Claros, Brazil
~CHF 99 million
EUR 100 million for digital technology in Nestlé coffee factory in Girona, Spain
~CHF 133 million
THB 5 billion in new Purina PetCare factory in Rayong, Thailand
Creating Shared Value: The way we operate
We build for the long term, act with focus and combine global resources with local know-how to create value for both society and our shareholders at a meaningful scale. We do so because we believe that business should act as a force for good.
Nestlé continues to follow through on our commitments to do business in a way that creates shared value, illustrated by progress toward net zero greenhouse gas emissions, regenerative agriculture, 100% deforestation-free supply chains, sustainable packaging and improved nutrition in our portfolio.