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Nestle CEO not getting carried away by strong first-quarter sales growth

FILE PHOTO: Nestle Chief Executive Mark Schneider talks during a news conference at the company headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland, February 13, 2020. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy

ZURICH (Reuters) - Nestle NESN.S Chief Executive Mark Schneider warned on Friday against reading too much into the company's first-quarter results, which marked its best quarterly growth for nearly five years as customers stockpiled food to deal with coronavirus shutdowns.

“It is important not to get carried away by the strong organic growth,” Schneider told an analyst call after Nestle posted a 4.3% increase during the three months to the end of March.

The situation remained “highly volatile” he said, with significant ups and downs across categories and regions. Nestle would not be able to forecast the financial impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on its business, Schneider added.

Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Michael Shields