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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 August 2007, 07:08 GMT 08:08 UK
Strong sales rise boosts Nestle
Nestle baby food products
Infant nutrition has become a key part of Nestle's business.
Nestle, the maker of KitKat and Perrier water, has said it will beat its annual profit forecasts after a strong rise in sales in the first six months of 2007.

But it warned that increases in the cost of raw materials, such as coffee and cocoa, had led it to raise prices, which meant sales may slow.

The world's largest food company said that half-year profits grew 18.4% to 4.9bn Swiss francs ($4.1bn; 2.03bn).

Nestle added that it had no plans for major acquisitions.

Chief executive Peter Brabeck said the firm, which has made recent purchases of medical and child nutrition brands including the American baby food firm Gerber, was now looking to consolidate its position.

"We do not see any major acquisitions coming up," he said.

The company added that there had been a "notable performance improvement" at its UK Nestle Rowntree confectionery business whose brands include After Eight mints, Smarties and Rowntree's Fruit Pastilles as well as KitKat.

Overall sales rose 8.4% to 51.1bn Swiss francs in the first six months of the year.

The company also unveiled a $21bn share buyback programme.




SEE ALSO
Health food boosts Nestle sales
23 Apr 07 |  Business
Nestle to buy Gerber for $5.5bn
12 Apr 07 |  Business
Nestle profits hit a new record
22 Feb 07 |  Business
Nestle buys diet firm Jenny Craig
19 Jun 06 |  Business
Coffee sales drive Nestle profits
23 Feb 06 |  Business

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