ZURICH Aug 8 Underlying sales at Nestle grew 4.1 percent in the first half, missing forecasts and lagging growth of rivals Danone and Unilever, as price erosion continued in Europe, prompting the world's biggest food group to cut its sales goal.
"Organic growth was somewhat muted, reflecting lower pricing by our markets, as we leveraged softer input costs to meet the expectations of today's more value conscious consumers," the group said in a statement on Thursday, lowering its full-year target to around 5 percent sales growth, from 5-6 percent previously.
Net profit at the maker of KitKat bars and Maggi soups rose to 5.1 billion Swiss francs, in line with estimates in a Reuters poll.
French yoghurt maker Danone reported a 6.5 percent rise in quarterly sales on the back of an improvement in recession-hit Europe. Anglo-Dutch Unilever said sales rose 5 percent in the quarter, but warned of slowing growth in emerging markets.