Dow Jones Newswires: Nestle profit boosted by sale of its skin-health business

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Nestle SA said Thursday that 2019 net profit rose, boosted by the sale of its skin-health business.

The Swiss food-and-beverage company NSRGY, -1.25% NESN, -1.25%  said net profit was 12.6 billion Swiss francs ($12.90 billion) compared with CHF10.1 billion the previous year.

Sales rose 1.2% to CHF92.57 billion on year and organic growth was 3.5% in line with guidance, the company said.

Analysts had forecast net profit of CHF11.77 billion and sales of CHF92.97 billion, according to a consensus compiled by FactSet.

“Organic growth accelerated, fueled by strong momentum in the United States and Purina PetCare globally,” Chief Executive Mark Schneider said. “Profitability improved again and reached our guided range one year ahead of plan.”

The company said it proposed a dividend increase to CHF2.70 a share and started a new share buyback program of up to CHF20 billion in 2020.

Looking ahead, Nestle said it expects a continued increase in organic sales growth and forecasts growth acceleration toward the mid-single digit range in the 2021-22 period.

The company said it is too early to assess the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

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