Nestle sees higher input cost inflation next year

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FILE PHOTO: Jars of Nescafe Gold coffee by Nestle are pictured in the supermarket of Nestle headquarters in Vevey

ZURICH (Reuters) -Nestle expects even higher input cost inflation in 2022 than this year, the world’s biggest food group’s chief financial officer said on Thursday.

“If we talk of 2022, it is likely that input cost inflation will be higher next year than this year,” Francois-Xavier Roger said at a Barclays consumer staples conference.

“Our strategy is to offset anything we receive through pricing. The idea is to pass it on to the trade and to consumers whenever we receive it,” he said, adding there would be a delay.

He said the company was gaining market share in most categories and regions, with the exception of infant nutrition in China that wouldn’t return to growth this year and frozen pizza due to supply chain constraints.

Roger said the company would continue to be active in portfolio management, but would stay disciplined, targeting mature businesses rather than startups.

He said margin growth would moderate going forward due to investment in sustainability and topline growth. Nestle will also continue to do share buybacks whenever appropriate.

Asked about its stake in French cosmetics group L’Oreal, Roger said: “There is not much to add there. I cannot comment on one specific option regarding our L’Oreal investment … The board has to revisit all options and we want to keep all options open.”

(Reporting by Silke KoltrowitzEditing by Peter Graff and David Evans)

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