Nestle Reports Strong Sales

Nine months sales increased 8.9%

Nestle said on Oct. 23 nine-month sales soared to 81.4 billion francs (US$69.77 billion), leading it to hike its outlook for the full year. The 8.9% organic growth -- which excludes effects from acquisitions and currency fluctuations -- lifted the heavyweight stock and in turn the overall Swiss market.

Group sales would have been even stronger if not for the strong Swiss franc against most other currencies, which reduced sales by 8%.

"These record sales in the first nine months reflect strong growth momentum in both the developing and the developed world," said Paul Bulcke, Nestle's CEO.

Nestle added that in view of the third quarter, it was hiking its organic growth to about 8% for the full year, up from the at least 7.4% it forecasted in August.

The group said all regions performed well, with developing markets in particular posting double-digit growth. By product category, only its water division showed a one-percent fall in organic growth. The sharpest climb was posted by the powdered and liquid beverages category, which indicated 13.1% organic growth.

A few of Nestle's products had been pulled in some places such as South Korea and Taiwan over the China milk scandal, but the group did not refer to the impact of these withdrawals in the trading statement.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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