Apr 15 - The world's largest food group says strong emerging market growth and price rise helped to drive better than expected first-quarter underlying sales growth despite rising commodity costs. Amy Gardner reports.
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The world's largest food group Nestle is demonstrating a knack for being nimble in light of rising commodity costs.
Its shares were up over a percent after the company reported better than expected first quarter results.
Underlying sales - which strip out acquisition costs and exchange rates - rose by 6.4 percent in the first quarter, beating forecasts.
Like other food groups, the Swiss-based giant is battling the rising cost of commodities like coffee, milk, grain and crude oil.
Unrest in Ivory Coast, which supplies nearly half the world's cocoa beans, has pushed up prices by as much as 10 percent in recent weeks.
Nestle says it's offset the impact by making savings and passing the cost on to consumers.
The maker of KitKat chocolate bars and Nespresso coffee is confirming its 2011 goals for sales growth of between 5 and 6 percent.
It says emerging markets - already responsible for 40 percent of Nestle's business will be a key driver.
Amy Gardner, Reuters
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