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April 25, 2006

SWITZERLAND: Nestlé Group Q1 sales jump 14.1%

Nestlé Group has reconfirmed its full year outlook and posted organic 14.1% increased revenue for the first quarter, at CHF22.8bn (US$17.9bn), with its “other food and beverage” category growing fastest.

Nestlé Group has reconfirmed its full year outlook and posted organic 14.1% increased revenue for the first quarter, at CHF22.8bn (US$17.9bn), with its “other food and beverage” category growing fastest.

The other food and beverage category, including Nespresso, Cereal Partners Worldwide and Beverage Partners Worldwide, achieved 20.3% organic growth, at CHF627m, while Nestlé Waters grew 10.5%, at CHF2.1bn, and Nestlé Nutrition had 5.2% organic growth, at CHF1.3bn.

Nestlé chairman and CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe said: “Nestlé had a strong start to the year. Our food and beverage business was once again the driver of our growth, with every region contributing.”

In Europe, Nestlé Group organic growth was 2.8% despite flat sales in the UK and a German market weak against a strong first quarter last year. Russia delivered double-digit organic growth for the company.

The Americas delivered organic growth of 6.6% for the group, with Latin America enjoying 8% organic growth, mainly driven by the smaller regions. Asia, Oceania and Africa had organic growth of 8.3%, with greater China confirming its long-term organic growth pattern, seasonally influenced by the Chinese New Year holidays, Nestlé said. China, where infant formula sales are recovering slowly, stripped down Nestlé Nutrition organic growth by 3.9%.

In its outlook Nestlé’s said it achieved a strong start to the year, amid increased input costs for oil and raw materials, by further increasing its prices. The company is up against a higher base for the remainder of the year, and confirmed that the group expects to achieve its targets for the full year of organic growth between 5 and 6%.

“The input cost environment deteriorated during the first quarter, including for key food categories, which required us to further increase prices,” added Brabeck-Letmathe.

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