• Nestle H1 organic sales up 3.5%
  • EBIT margin up 30bps
  • Expects volume-driven organic growth acceleration in H2

Nestle, the world's largest food group, posted a 3.5% increase in first-half organic sales this morning (12 August), missing consensus expectations of 3.9%.

During the six months to the end of June, group EBIT margin rose 30 bps to 14.1%, the Swiss food giant said.

However, the performance of its food and beverages businesses lagged slightly, with 3.4% organic growth and EBIT margin of 12.4%, up 10 bps on a reported basis or 20 bps in constant currencies.

Net profit totalled CHF5.1bn, down from CHF5.2bn a year earlier.

Earnings were dented by the strength of the Swiss franc and currency exchange weighed on EPS, which rose 8.5% on a constant-currency basis but only increased 3.5% to CHF1.46 after currency exchange.

Looking to the remainder of the year, Nestle said that it expects volume-driven organic growth to accelerate in the second half.

Click here for the full press release, and click here for why CFO James Singh believes Nestle's performance in Europe will improve in the second half of 2009.