Food giant Nestlé expects organic sales growth to stay muted in the fourth quarter and is speeding up its restructuring programme as it seeks to improve profit margins.
Nestlé said it expected its 2017 operating margin to slip by 0.4 to 0.6 percentage points as restructuring costs could reach £780m, double the initial plan, while maintaining guidance for overall charges of up to £1.95bn until 2020.
It said, however, that its underlying trading operating margin, which strips out restructuring costs, was set to improve by at least 0.2 percentage points in constant currency this year.
Organic sales growth accelerated to 3.1 per cent in the third quarter from 2.3 per cent in the first and 2.4 per cent in the second. Nestlé employs 1,800 people in York, where it makes up to seven million KitKat bars a day, and 500 in Halifax, where it makes Quality Street and After Eight chocolates.