The UK branch of Swiss food giant Nestlé has denied it is in crisis over poor confectionery and chocolate sales in 2003.

Alastair Sykes, chairman of Nestlé UK, said confectionery sales slid 2% in 2003 compared to the previous year, while sales of KitKat fell more than 9% and sales of KitKat Chunky fell 18%, reported the Telegraph.

“This is not a situation I am happy with but not a situation I would describe as a crisis,” Sykes was quoted by as saying.

Group chief executive Peter Brabeck said the company expected to make up some lost ground during 2004.

“There is a loss of volume and loss of market share but not to the extent that the business is in danger. We would hope to report back in a year that we have recovered at least some of that loss,” Brabeck was quoted by the Telegraph as saying.