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Nestle earnings up 8.9%

Aug 09 2012 12:41 Sapa-AFP

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Zurich - The world's biggest food company Nestle on Thursday posted an 8.9% increase in first-half net profit, driven by gains in emerging market countries.

Net profit for the January-June period was 5.1bn Swiss francs ($5.2 billion), the company said in a statement. The result was slightly higher than the 4.9bn francs profit forecast by analysts surveyed by Swiss agency AWP.

Operating profit rose 6.9% to 6.6bn Swiss francs while sales were up 7.5% at €44.1bn.

Nestle said sales increased 12.9% in emerging markets compared with 2.6% growth in developed countries.

"Our growth in the first half and our current operational margin ... allow us to reconfirm our forecast for the entire year," chairperson Paul Bulcke said in the statement.

Nestle expects full-year growth of between 5% to 6% but the food giant also warned that "the challenging business environment will continue in the second half, especially in the developed markets."

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