• Waters division returns to growth
  • Group sales climb 6.1%
  • Net profits up 7.5%
Nestle booked a 7.5% increase in net profits

Nestle booked a 7.5% increase in net profits

Nestle CEO Paul Bulcke said this morning (10 August) that the Swiss food giant had enjoyed a "very successful" first half of the year, with sales in its waters division climbing by nearly 3%.

The world's largest food maker reported a 7.5% increase in net profits to CHF5.5bn (US$5.2bn), with EBIT up 10.6% at CHF6.7bn, for the six months to the end of June. Nestle's EBIT margin climbed by 80 basis points to 15.1% despite higher marketing investment thanks to cost control.

Sales grew by 6.1% on an organic basis to CHF55.3bn. On a reported basis, sales were up 5.9% on the same period of 2009.

The firm’s water’s division returned to growth after a couple of years in which consumption fell, with sales climbing 2.5% organically to CHF4.7bn.

Nestle said it achieved positive growth in Europe and in North America its Pure Life brand continued to perform well.

Looking ahead, Bulcke said: "We have increased investment in our brands, people and capabilities and have prepared the company for a more challenging second half, which allows me to reconfirm our earlier full-year guidance for [Nestle's] food and beverages [business]: organic growth of around 5% combined with an increase in EBIT margin in constant currencies."

For the full earnings statement from Nestle, click here. Check back later for coverage of Nestle's first-half results conference.