Swiss food and beverage major Nestle on Thursday said it has "performed well" in the South Asia market in 2020, including in in India where it posted "high single-digit'' growth.
Key brands such as Maggi, Nescafe and KitKat posted robust growth in the Indian market in 2020, Nestle said in a post-earnings statement.
Besides, the company saw sustained momentum in e-commerce sales in India, a segment which has grown in prominence after the pandemic.
"South Asia continued to perform well, with high single-digit growth in India and a return to positive growth in Pakistan," Nestle said.
"In India, Maggi, Nescafé and KitKat posted robust growth and e-commerce sales saw sustained momentum," it added.
The Indian market falls under Nestle's Asia, Oceania and sub-Saharan Africa (AOA) zone, which reported sales of 20.73 billion CHF (around USD 23.10 billion).
China posted negative growth in AOA zone due to the timing of the Chinese New Year, decline in out-of-home channels and limited consumer stockpiling during lockdowns, it said.
South-East Asia saw low single-digit organic growth and South Asia markets reported mid-single-digit organic expansion.
Sub-Saharan Africa recorded double-digit organic growth and countries like Japan, South Korea and Oceania combined saw almost flat organic growth.
Overall, Nestle reported sales of 84.34 billion CHF (USD 94.04 billion). This was 8.9 per cent lower than 92.56 billion CHF sales of 2019 but was up 3.6 per cent in terms of organic growth. "Growth was based on strong momentum in the Americas and robust sales development in EMENA (Europe, Middle East and North Africa)," it said.
Commenting on the full-year results, Nestle CEO Mark Schneider said, "2020 was a year of hardship for so many, yet I am inspired by the way it has brought all of us closer together." In this unprecedented environment, Nestle achieved its third consecutive year of improvement in organic growth, profitability and return on invested capital.
"The global pandemic did not slow us down. Our nutrition expertise, digital capabilities, decentralized structure and innovation engine allowed us to adapt quickly to changing consumer behaviours and trends.
"We advanced our portfolio transformation, continued to build Nestlé Health Science into a nutrition powerhouse and expanded our presence in direct-to-consumer businesses," he said.
Over the outlook for 2021, Nestle said it expects continued increase in organic sales growth towards a mid-single-digit rate, underlying trading operating profit margin with continued moderate improvement and increased capital efficiency.
Earlier, this week, Nestle India had declared its result for 2020.
Nestle India's net profit was up 5.79 per cent to Rs 2,082.43 crore as against Rs 1,968.44 crore a year before.
Net sales stood at Rs 13,290.16 crore, up 8.09 per cent from Rs 12,295.27 crore in 2019.