Nestle reports first quarter sales boost

22-04-2008

Nestle reports first quarter sales boost
Food and beverage group Nestle has reported a six per cent sales lift in the first quarter to CHF25.7 billion (£12.68 billion) and confirmed expectations for the rest of the year.

Raising prices by three per cent last year helped the company cover the rising costs of coffee, cocoa and sugar.

Switzerland-based Nestle said sales benefited from organic growth of 9.8 per cent, including 4.5 per cent real internal growth. Acquisitions also added a further 3.2 per cent to the group's sales over the period.

Sales rose in every division except for bottled water, where sales declined by 0.6 per cent organic growth.

The strength of the Swiss franc reduced overall sales by seven per cent, the company added.

Paul Bulcke, chief executive of Nestle, said: "The strong start to the year reflects Nestle's momentum as the world's leading nutrition, health and wellness company.

"On the basis of this high-quality growth, with a good balance between real internal growth and pricing, I am confident we will achieve our 2008 targets: organic growth approaching the 2007 level together with improved EBIT margins in constant currencies."

Nestle said it expects raw material costs to come down in the second half of the year and forecasts growth above the company's long-term target.

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