Nestlé reported a 7.6% drop in sales for the year to December 31, 2003, blaming the strong Swiss franc. Sales fell from SF89.2bn in 2002 to SF88bn in 2003. Pre-tax profit fell 14.4% to SF8.3bn from SF9.7bn.

Sales of petcare brands fell by 8.4%, confectionery fell by 4.7% and beverages dipped 0.9%. Sales of prepared dishes and cooking aids were flat while Nestlé’s bottled water business rose by 4%.