Nestlé, the world's biggest food group by sales, saw a 9 percent drop in Q1 sales to CHF22.26bn compared to CHF22.34bn the previous year, the company announced on Friday.
The decrease in sales were due to the sale of its Alcon eye care business and foreign exchange rates by the Swiss franc which has been trading close to record levels against the Euro and dollar over the past three months, Nestlé said.
Organic growth rose 6.4 percent despite a sharp increase in commodity prices and the currency impact, the Swiss confectioner reported.
The company's development of 6.4 percent reflects strong growth in emerging markets and price increases. The breakdown of growth reported by the company is 4.3 percent in the Americas, 3.9 percent in Europe and 13.8 percent in Asia, Oceania and Africa. Developed markets grew 3 percent, while emerging markets achieved around 12 percent organic growth.
Regarding the outlook for the remainder of the year, the company expects organic growth between 5 and 6 percent and a margin improvement in constant currencies.
CEO Paul Bulcke said: “We achieved growth in all categories in the first three months of 2011, maintaining last year's momentum. In view of the strong start to the year, we are able to reconfirm our guidance for 2011 as a whole.”