Nestle likely to do more big acquisitions: CFO

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FILE PHOTO: Logo is pictured on the Nestle research center in Lausanne

By Silke Koltrowitz

ZURICH (Reuters) – Nestle <NESN.S> will do more acquisitions, also big ones, the food giant’s chief financial officer said on Wednesday.

“We have been very disciplined, but that has not prevented us from doing sizeable acquisitions –¬†Starbucks, Atrium, now Aimmune – and there will be probably more in the future as well because we really want to go there,” Francois-Xavier Roger said in a webcast.

Roger said Nestle did not want to deleverage the company or reduce its scale so acquisitions were clearly on the agenda if they were a strategic and cultural fit and offered a proper financial return.

“That is essentially around nutrition, health and wellness or high-growth categories, but not on an exclusive basis, we can also invest outside of these high-growth categories if we find the right opportunities,” Roger said in the webcast of a Barclays conference in Boston.

Roger said Nestle would continue to generate efficiencies, but would not let all of them flow to the bottom line.

“In the future, there will be some margin improvement, but not to the same extent because we’ll use part of the savings to support our growth, that is essentially marketing spend and to finance the sustainability cost that will rise,” he said.

Nestle said in July it was aiming for 2-3% organic sales growth this year as demand for high-end pet food and health products held up during the second quarter.

Nestle shares were up 1.5% at 1318 GMT.

(Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Michael Shields)

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