Nestle said it expected its organic sales to rise this year after an improving performance in China and North America helped growth accelerate in 2018 after six years of slowdowns.
Demand for packaged foods has suffered from a trend towards healthier eating, and Nestle Chief Executive Mark Schneider is trying to bring the world's biggest food group back up to speed by improving efficiency and focusing on growth categories.
Organic sales grew 3.0 percent in the full year, accelerating to 3.7 percent in the final quarter, and net profit jumped 42 percent to 10.1 billion Swiss francs ($10.02 billion) benefiting from one-off items, the maker of Kitkat chocolate bars and Nespresso portioned coffee said in a statement on Thursday.
Speaking to CNBC's Julianna Tatelbaum on Thursday, Schneider said Nestle's growth was driven by its nutrition business as well as strong performance in the U.S. and China.
"We've seen slowing GDP (in China), but that has not translated into slowing consumer interest," he said. "We've seen very solid progress coming out of 2017 and 2018 so I think there's generally a lot of confidence in the market that we'll make that (2020) target."