Hero Group, the Switzerland-based food maker, said today (6 March) that a rise in revenues from its infant nutrition arm boosrted sales in 2008.

On an organic basis, sales rose 6.3%, with consolidated revenues climbing to CHF1.92bn (US$1.66bn).

Infant nutrition sales rose by over 12% last year, while Hero's group-wide revenues outside Europe reached a new high of 25%.

Chief executive Stefan Heidenreich said: " In 2008, Hero's strong performance has clearly shown the resilience of the Hero model in delivering strong growth, international expansion and further acquisitions despite the significant economic downturn seen in all our major markets."

He added: "As we enter 2009 with a global recession setting in, we remain confident that with our product portfolio centred on Infant and Fruit along with our best-in-class innovation know-how, we are well equipped to tackle the challenges of the coming year."