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(Bloomberg) -- Nestle SA set a profitability target for 2020 as Chief Executive Officer Mark Schneider presents his strategy to revive growth at the world’s biggest food company.
The underlying trading operating margin should be 17.5 percent to 18.5 percent by 2020, the Vevey, Switzerland-based company said in a statement Tuesday. Schneider is scheduled to meet investors in London this morning.
Nestle has faced calls for a shakeup from activist investor Dan Loeb, whose Third Point firm invested about $3.5 billion in the company for a stake of about 1 percent. He has urged Nestle to target an operating margin of 18 percent to 20 percent by 2020 and has said Nestle should sell its stake in French cosmetics maker L’Oreal SA.
Food companies are struggling with consumer resistance to sugary snacks and products they perceive as unhealthy. Nestle has forecast the weakest sales growth in at least two decades this year.
Schneider already announced a share buyback worth as much as 20 billion francs ($21 billion), the planned disposal of Nestle’s U.S. confectionery unit and acquisitions of coffee and fresh-food businesses. The company has also been cutting jobs at its skincare unit.
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