Nestle cuts 15 percent of its Africa workforce

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Nestlé employees package one of their products

Swiss food and drinks company Nestle SA (NESN.VX) is cutting 15 percent of its workforce in 21 African countries because it says it overestimated the rise of the middle class, the Financial Times reported.

Reuters

“We thought this would be the next Asia, but we have realized the middle class here in the region is extremely small and it is not really growing,” Cornel Krummenacher, chief executive for Nestlé’s equatorial Africa region, told the Financial Times in an interview. (goo.gl/a55Wy8)

He also said Nestle would be lucky to reach annual 10 percent growth in Africa in future years, and with the cuts, the company hoped to break even next year.

Nestle Nigeria (NESTLE.LG) reported a 51 percent fall in pretax profit to 3.48 billion naira ($17.51 million) in the first quarter.