Nestle fell short of earnings expectations for 2017, citing "challenging environments" in their North American and Brazilian markets.
The Swiss food giant posted net income of 7.2 billion Swiss francs ($7.76 billion), versus 9.652 billion francs expected by analysts in a Reuters poll. Sales were reported at 89.8 billion Swiss francs, a 0.4 percent increase on 2016, but below expectations in a Reuters poll of 90.097 billion francs. Shares sank by 2.7 percent as European markets opened Thursday.
The numbers came just short of company targets, mainly due to weaker sales at the end of the year, Nestle CEO Mark Schneider told CNBC Thursday.
"We were somewhat surprised with the fourth quarter, that came in a little softer than anticipated, mainly due to North America and the market in Brazil, geographically speaking," Schneider said. In terms of product areas, he named Nestle Waters and the Nestle nutrition businesses as having finished the year weaker than anticipated.
Still, the CEO expressed confidence that there was reason to be optimistic about North American and Brazilian markets for 2018 and beyond.
"I regard these issues as transitory, and feel that we can do better than that," he said.