- Foreign exchange reduced sales by 7.9% due to the continued appreciation of the Swiss franc against most currencies. Divestitures had a negative impact of 4.6%. As a result, total reported sales decreased by 8.9% to CHF 84.3 billion (2019: CHF 92.6 billion).
- The underlying trading operating profit (UTOP) margin reached 17.7%, up 10 basis points on a reported basis and 20 basis points in constant currency. The trading operating profit (TOP) margin increased by 210 basis points to 16.9% on a reported basis.
- Underlying earnings per share increased by 3.5% in constant currency and decreased by 4.5% on a reported basis to CHF 4.21. Earnings per share stayed unchanged at CHF 4.30 on a reported basis.
- Free cash flow was CHF 10.2 billion.
- Return on invested capital increased by 240 basis points to 14.7%.
- Board proposes a dividend increase of 5 centimes to CHF 2.75 per share, marking 26 consecutive years of dividend growth. In total, CHF 14.5 billion were returned to shareholders in 2020 through a combination of dividend and share buybacks.
- Continued progress in portfolio management. Nestlé divested the Yinlu peanut milk and canned rice porridge businesses in China and agreed to sell its regional spring water brands, purified water business and beverage delivery service in the U.S. and Canada. Portfolio rotation since 2017 now amounts to around 18% of total 2017 sales.
- 2021 outlook: continued increase in organic sales growth towards a mid single-digit rate. Underlying trading operating profit margin with continued moderate improvement. Underlying earnings per share in constant currency and capital efficiency expected to increase.
- Mid-term outlook: sustained mid single-digit organic sales growth. Continued moderate underlying trading operating profit margin improvement. Continued prudent capital allocation and capital efficiency improvement.
Mark Schneider, Nestlé CEO, commented:"2020 was a year of hardship for so many, yet I am inspired by the way it has brought all of us closer together. I want to thank our employees and our partners - from farmers to retailers - who worked with us to ensure the supply of food and beverages to communities globally. In this unprecedented environment, we achieved our third consecutive year of improvement in organic growth, profitability and return on invested capital. The global pandemic did not slow us down. Our nutrition expertise, digital capabilities, decentralized structure and innovation engine allowed us to adapt quickly to changing consumer behaviors and trends. We advanced our portfolio transformation, continued to build Nestlé Health Science into a nutrition powerhouse and expanded our presence in direct-to-consumer businesses. At the same time, we remained focused on sustainability and set out our path to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This journey is expected to support future growth and be earnings neutral – it will generate value for society and our shareholders. Looking to 2021, we expect continued improvement in organic growth, profitability and capital efficiency in line with our value creation model."