Nestle posts 2.1% sales drop in first quarter

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Apr 22 2009 02:07 PM | Updated as of Apr 22 2009 10:07 PM

GENEVA - Swiss food giant Nestle on Wednesday said first quarter sales fell 2.1 percent to 25.2 billion Swiss francs (16.7 billion euros, 21.6 billion dollars), hit by negative currency exchange rates.

The group said the strength of the Swiss francs in relation to other currency led to a negative impact of 5.2 percent in sales.

Nevertheless, Nestle confirmed its full year target of around 5.0 percent in organic growth.

To cope with "challenging economic environment in 2009", the group said it is strengthening cost efficiencies, innovation and product affordability.

"The increasing momentum from such initiatives, as well as the strength of our brands and our worldwide geographic presence, enables me to confirm our guidance for 2009 as a whole," said chief executive Paul Bulcke.