Letter to our shareholders

2016 was an exceptional year in exceptional times. We reached a milestone, our 150th anniversary, a celebration of a century and a half of passion for nutrition and for quality. But this achievement comes as our industry is at a crossroads. Expectations of Nestlé are changing substantially as consumers embrace new trends, habits and lifestyles. We see a reshaping of the competitive environment. We are on the brink of a ‘fourth industrial revolution’; a transformation of society that will be unlike anything we have experienced before, presenting us with challenges but also great opportunities. We are responding by sharpening our focus and strengthening our efforts to create value. We are investing in science and innovation, and building new capabilities and platforms to secure our long-term prospects while at the same time delivering the sustainable, profitable growth you expect from us.

Corporate Governance

Our Board of Directors sets our long-term strategy and provides oversight on the basis of strong principles and an appropriate tone from the top. It ensures the long-term success of our company based on a clear strategy and good corporate governance.


Nutrition plays a profound role in everyone’s life. Our strategy focuses on delivering distinct benefits to people through the food and beverages, products and services we provide. Over 150 years we have built a successful business by understanding and anticipating the needs of society, and continuously adapting ourselves to seize the opportunities presented to us.

Financial review

Our 2016 organic growth was at the high end of the industry but at the lower end of our expectations. We saw a solid trading operating profit margin improvement and our cash flow grew significantly.

CHF 89.5 billion


CHF 13.7 billion

Trading operating profit


Organic growth


Trading operating profit margin


Real internal growth

+30 basis points

Trading operating profit margin (Constant currency)

CHF 2.76

Earnings per share


Underlying earnings per share (Constant currency)

CHF 15.6 billion

Operating cash flow (112.0% of net financial debt)

CHF 10.1 billion

Free cash flow

CHF 2.30

Proposed dividend


Proposed dividend increase


Of total sales are from geographic area AMS


Of total sales are from geographic area EMENA


Of total sales are from geographic area AOA

The highlights

Ever since Nestlé was founded we have provided quality products and services that help shape a better world. Henri Nestlé created an infant cereal that saved the life of a child. We share his belief that through innovation we can enable healthier and happier lives. We share his passion for creating the tastiest and healthiest products, building, sharing and applying our nutritional knowledge, enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future.

150 years

Our 150th anniversary celebrations were an opportunity to honour the vision of our founders: a better world through nutrition. That passion for nutrition is echoed today in the efforts of our employees, working with our partners, to create products and services that enhance quality of life and contribute to a healthier future.


The Annual Report contains our Annual Review, the Corporate Governance Report and our Financial Statements. It is published alongside the summary report 'Nestlé in society: Creating Shared Value and meeting our commitments'.