* Organic growth 5.9 pct vs 5.9 pct forecast
* Sales 92.2 bln Sfr vs 92.2 bln Sfr forecast
* Reiterates 5-6 pct organic growth target for 2013
VEVEY, Switzerland, Feb 14 Nestle's
said it expected 2013 to be as challenging as 2012 as it
reported sales growth picked up in the last three months of 2012
after a disappointing third-quarter for the world's biggest food
Underlying sales growth at the maker of KitKat chocolate
bars and Maggi soup came in at 5.9 percent for the year, meeting
average analyst expectations, and implying a slight recovery
from just 5 percent third-quarter growth.
Growth in Asia, Oceania and Africa, which accounted for
about one fifth of sales, came in at 8.4 percent. Third-quarter
sales in the region took a surprise hit from one-off events such
as typhoons in the Philippines, social unrest in Egypt and
business disruptions due to sanctions on Iran.
Despite the challenges, Chief Executive Paul Bulcke said
Nestle still expects to meet its standard outlook for 5-6
percent underlying sales growth this year as well as improved
margin and underlying earnings per share in constant currencies.