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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Swiss Exchange  >  Nestlé S.A.    NESN   CH0038863350

NESTLÉ S.A.

(NESN)
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Delayed Quote. Delayed Swiss Exchange - 11/26 11:31:04 am
102.38 CHF   +0.43%
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Danone eyes disposals in portfolio and management shake-up

10/19/2020 | 07:12am EST
FILE PHOTO: A company logo is seen on a product displayed before French food group Danone's 2019 annual results presentation in Paris

PARIS (Reuters) - French food group Danone is planning what could become a string of asset disposals after an extensive review and management shake-up announced on Monday as it seeks to contend with the challenges posed by the coronavirus crisis.

Danone said it is looking at strategic options for its Argentina business and its plant-based North American brand Vega, which have combined sales of about 500 million euros ($588 million), and would later conduct a more in depth portfolio review to prune underperforming assets.

"This is a new world and therefore, in many ways, this company will need to reinvent itself again," Chairman and CEO Emmanuel Faber told analysts, adding that Danone's plan would also entail "very significant cost savings".

Danone, known globally for its yoghurt products, also spoke of its desire to "rapidly reconnect" with the group's goal to deliver mid-term sales growth of 3-5%.

There has been recurring speculation that the group's waters business and notably the Mizone brand in China could be among non-performing assets eventually earmarked for disposal, though Faber told analysts on Monday he would be "patient" with Mizone.

Danone earlier posted a 2.5% drop in like-for-like third-quarter sales, slightly worse than the 2.2% decline expected by analysts, as a fall in out-of-home consumption hit sales of its bottled waters division while coronavirus travel restrictions in Asia weighed on its specialised nutrition sales in China.

The consumer giant, owner of Evian and Badoit water and the Activia and actimel yoghurt brands, also reinstated 2020 forecasts that target a 14% recurring operating margin and 1.8 billion euros of free cash flow.

Faber, now in his sixth year as CEO, has pursued a strategy centred on diversifying the group's portfolio into fast-growing products featuring probiotics, protein and plant-based ingredients to mitigate slower growth in dairy.

TURNAROUND HAMPERED

In 2017 Danone bought U.S. organic food producer WhiteWave in a $12.5 billion deal, bringing the company more into line with healthier eating trends.

However, the coronavirus disruption has hampered Faber's turnaround efforts.

Investors have also been sceptical about Faber's dual economic and social agenda to boost shareholder value and profit while also focusing on the environment and social issues.

"The irony is that a company with health and wellness at its core is unable to grow, just when those qualities should be at a premium," Jefferies analysts wrote last week.

But Jefferies welcomed Monday's announcements as "steps in the right direction" on what it expects to be a hard road to recovery. Its analysts have previously said they view Danone's medical nutrition, Mizone or Horizon & Wallaby liquid milk among potential non-core businesses.

Danone shares have lost about 25% this year, lagging a 2% gain for rival Nestle and a 19% fall for the CAC-40 index of French blue chips. The shares were up 1.9% at 52.28 euros by 1053 GMT on Monday.

As part of the management shake-up, Danone said that finance chief Cecile Cabanis would leave the company in February to be replaced by Juergen Esser, currently CFO of the Waters and Africa divisions.

Danone also appointed two regional chiefs, Shane Grant for North America and Veronique Penchienati-Bosetta for Europe and the rest of the world. Henri Bruxelles, the former executive vice president for Waters and Africa, will become chief operating officer.

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Edmund Blair and David Goodman)

By Dominique Vidalon


© Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
DANONE S.A 1.23% 52.86 Real-time Quote.-29.34%
DOW JONES AFRICA TITANS 50 INDEX 0.15% 505.52 Delayed Quote.-6.05%
EURO / ARGENTINE PESO (EUR/ARS) 0.00% 96.3482 Delayed Quote.43.43%
NESTLÉ S.A. 0.43% 102.38 Delayed Quote.-2.71%
S&P AFRICA 40 INDEX 0.51% 163.98 Delayed Quote.-5.58%
US DOLLAR / ARGENTINE PESO (USD/ARS) 0.00% 80.87 Delayed Quote.34.96%
VEGA CORPORATION CO., LTD. 0.11% 1851 End-of-day quote.191.50%
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Financials
Sales 2020 84 945 M 93 629 M 93 629 M
Net income 2020 11 697 M 12 892 M 12 892 M
Net Debt 2020 30 184 M 33 269 M 33 269 M
P/E ratio 2020 25,1x
Yield 2020 2,67%
Capitalization 284 B 312 B 313 B
EV / Sales 2020 3,70x
EV / Sales 2021 3,67x
Nbr of Employees 291 000
Free-Float 93,5%
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 28
Average target price 117,02 CHF
Last Close Price 101,94 CHF
Spread / Highest target 27,5%
Spread / Average Target 14,8%
Spread / Lowest Target -7,79%
EPS Revisions
Managers
NameTitle
Ulf Mark Schneider Chief Executive Officer & Director
Paul Bulcke Chairman
Magdi Batato Executive Vice President-Operations
François-Xavier Michel Marie Roger Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President
Stefan Palzer Chief Technology Officer
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