Milk products, ice cream and infant nutrition have driven a 6% rise in quarterly sales at Nestlé.

The Swiss food giant today (21 April) hailed a “strong start” to the year after booking first-quarter revenue of CHF25.7bn (US$25.4bn) for the three months to the end of March.

CEO Paul Bulcke said: “The strong start to the year reflects Nestlé’s momentum as the world’s leading nutrition, health and wellness company.”

Milk products and ice cream remained Nestlé’s biggest division by sales, with revenue rising 16% to CHF4.6bn.

Revenue from Nestlé Nutrition rose 14.4% to CHF2.6bn, thanks to “double-digit” growth from the company’s infant nutrition portfolio, it said.

Sales from prepared dishes were up 5.1% to CHF4.3bn due to growth from Nestlé’s Maggi brand in Western Europe and Buitoni pasta in the US.

Turnover from Nestlé’s confectionery business rose 7.3% to CHF3bn.

Nestlé said it is looking to match its organic sales growth of 2007, when revenue rose 9.2%.