Nestle profit surges as Swiss food giant eyes selling Herta

File: For the year ahead, Nestle said it expected continued sales growth and earnings to increase.

File: For the year ahead, Nestle said it expected continued sales growth and earnings to increase.

ZURICH - Swiss food giant Nestle said Thursday that profits surged last year, boosted by income from the disposal of businesses, and it would consider selling its Herta charcuterie business.

Net profit leapt 41.6 percent to 10.1 billion Swiss francs in 2018, Nestle said in a statement. 

Sales grew by 2.1 percent to 91.4 billion Swiss francs, helped by net acquisitions of 0.7 percent but hit by changes in exchange rates in several emerging markets that reduced sales by 1.6 percent.

The company also announced it will "explore strategic options" for its subsidiary Herta as "a further step in positioning the portfolio towards attractive high-growth categories".

Nestle CEO Mark Schneider welcomed the results. 

"We made significant progress with our portfolio transformation and sharpened our group's strategic focus, strengthening key growth categories and geographies in the process," he said in the statement.

On the back of the strong results, the company said it will boost its dividend by 10 centimes to 2.45 Swiss francs per share for 2018.

For the year ahead, Nestle said it expected continued sales growth and earnings to increase.