- Nestle, the world's biggest food group, reported forecast-beating first-quarter organic sales growth of 7.2 percent on Friday as demand from emerging markets helped offset a subdued environment in the developed world.
The Vevey-based maker of Nescafe coffee, KitKat chocolate bars and Maggi soup had been expected to post underlying sales growth of 6.6 percent, according to a Reuters poll of analysts.
Sales rose 5.6 percent to 21.4 billion Swiss francs, meeting average analyst forecasts for 21.4 billion francs, with 4.4 percent of the rise in underlying sales coming from price increases.
Nestle did not comment on a deal it is expected to seal this month to buy Pfizer's infant nutrition business for up to $10 billion (6.2 billion pounds) to boost its business in China and extend its lead in the world of formula milk for babies.
(Reporting by Emma Thomasson)