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Nestlé: first-quarter beats forecasts as prices increase

( - Nestlé, the world's biggest food group, beat forecasts, with organic growth of 3.
4% in first-quarter sales, with the company confirming its full-year guidance for 2019.

By comparison, analysts expected organic growth to reach just 2.8% in the first three months of the year.

"With organic growth that is a lot weaker than expected and virtually the same as our full-year 2019 forecast of 3.6%, the year has got off to an encouraging start, which supports positive momentum," analysts at Oddo BHF said.

The maker of Nescafe coffee and KitKat chocolate bars said it benefited from significant price improvements, notably in Brazil and the United States.

In terms of product categories, the largest growth contributions came from Purina petcare, dairy and infant nutrition, Nestle said.

After this solid start to the year, the Swiss company confirmed its outlook for the year, expecting continued improvement in organic growth and operating margin towards its 2020 targets.

Underlying EPS at constant currency is expected to increase, it said.

The Zurich-listed shares are currently up 0.8% after this report.

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