Swiss food maker Hero Group today (24 March) posted what it termed a "robust" sales performance for 2009 despite a fall in turnover.

The company, the parent of US baby-food maker Beech-Nut, booked a 0.9% fall in revenues to CHF1.79bn (US$1.68bn).

Hero, which did not disclose profit figures, said it made "excellent progress" in developing its business internationally, with Beech-Nut gaining share in the US. The company also cited "strong growth" in Russia, the Middle East and Africa.

Chief executive Stefan Heidenreich said: “The group’s top-line performance in 2009 was solid and clearly benefited from our focus on product categories that are relatively less exposed to general economic cycles.

"We are confident that our strong brands, our portfolios and our nutrition-focused innovation programmes will enable us to emerge stronger from the economic downturn in 2010.”

Hero officials could not be reached for immediate further comment.