Nestle first-half profits up

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Nestle, the world's biggest food and beverage group, on Wednesday posted a first-half net profit of 5.5 billion Swiss francs (3.98 billion euros, 5.23 billion dollars), up 7.5 percent.

Income grew strongest in the Asia, Oceania and Africa region, up 11.7 percent, followed by the Americas at 7.2 percent. Sales in Europe remained stagnant, however, and Nestle warned of a "challenging" remainder of the year.

Overall revenues totalled 55.3 billion francs, up 5.7 percent.

"We have increased investment in our brands, people and capabilities and have prepared the company for a more challenging second half," chief executive Paul Bulcke said in a statement.

© 2010 AFP

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