ZURICH Aug 7 Food group Nestle stood
by its full-year outlook on Thursday and said it would launch an
8 billion Swiss franc share buyback after sales growth picked up
in the second quarter.
Food groups are facing tough conditions as demand in
emerging markets slows and prices in developed markets decline.
Anglo-Dutch rival Unilever blamed a
slowdown in Asia for its second-quarter sales miss last month,
while profits at France's Danone were hit by weak
dairy sales in Europe.
Net profit at Nestle, whose brands span from KitKat
chocolate bars to Nescafe coffee, fell to 4.6 billion Swiss
francs ($5.07 billion) in the six months to June, short of
analysts' average estimate of 5.01 billion francs in a Reuters
poll, as the strong Swiss franc took its toll.
Sales growth adjusted for currency swings and acquisitions
accelerated to 4.7 percent in the first half, from 4.1 percent
in the year-ago period and 4.2 percent in the first quarter.
(1 US dollar = 0.9078 Swiss franc)
(Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz)