ZURICH (Reuters) – Mark Schneider, chief executive of food group Nestle, said on Tuesday that Nestlé will study its banking relationships following the planned acquisition of Credit Suisse (CSGN.S) by UBS (UBSG.S).
The world’s largest food group was a Credit Suisse customer, Schneider told TeleZueri radio in an interview to be shown on Tuesday evening, and it was in the wake of the collapse of Switzerland’s second-largest bank.
“We have worked closely with Credit Suisse for several decades in a spirit of trust,” Schneider told the radio.
“You can see from such an example that Switzerland as a business location and financial center are very closely linked. We now have to see how to realign our banking relationships, with both Swiss and international service providers.”
Schneider said the intervention of the Swiss government, central bank and financial market regulator to engineer a merger with UBS stabilized the situation and restored confidence.
Speaking of Nestlé, Schneider said the company is off to a good start through 2023, although, Schneider said, price increases by the company are likely to offset inflated raw material costs.
The maker of Nescafé instant coffee and Kit Kat chocolate bars raised prices by 8.2% last year, but that didn’t quite offset the impact of higher ingredient costs on margins.
Schneider said price increases have so far had “very limited” impact on consumer spending.
“As inflation continues, and therefore also affects our profitability, we will have to adjust pricing,” Schneider said.
“We will continue to do this in a responsible way. We do not want to be a driver of prices. We are responding to inflation and not fueling it,” he said.
Schneider added that the food maker has also been working on savings to reach its goal of achieving a full-year core operating profit margin target of 17% to 17.5%.
Reporting by John Revell; Editing by Louise Heavens and David Holmes
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