Nestlé today (23 October) upped its forecast for full-year revenue and profits after seeing sales climb almost 9% during the first nine months of the year.

The Swiss food giant, the world's largest food company, said it now expects sales to rise by 8% on an organic basis during the whole of 2008. It also forecast an "improvement" in EBIT margin.

The guidance came as Nestlé booked an 8.9% rise in organic sales to CHF81.36bn (US$69.77bn) for the nine months to the end of September.

Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke said: "These record sales in the first 9 months reflect strong growth momentum in both the developing and the developed world."

Nestlé saw is food and beverages sales rise across its three geographic "zones" - Europe, the Americas and Asia, Oceania and Africa.

In Europe, sales rose 6% on an organic basis to CHF21bn. The company highlighted a "good level of organic growth" in the UK and said its chocolate and culinary businesses and seen "high single-digit organic growth".

Shelf-stable dairy products helped drive organic ales growth of 10.7% from Nestlé's operations in the Americas, which saw turnover reach CHF23.8bn. The company posted "high single-digit" organic growth in North America, while its businesses in Latin America enjoyed double-digit growth.

Nestlé said sales in all its major emerging markets in Asia, Oceania and Africa were up in the double-digits, leading to sales of CHF12.7bn.

Nestlé Nutrition posted organic sales growth of 9.6% to CHF7.8bn.