Nestle reports small dip in sales

Geneva, Aug 12 (DPA) Nestle, the world’s largest food company, reported Wednesday a decline in sales of 1.5 percent, dropping to 52.3 billion Swiss francs ($48.3 billion) in the first half of 2009.

Nestle’s profits dipped from 5.21 billion francs in the first half of 2008 to 5.1 billion for the same period this year.

The group operating profit margin rose by 0.3 percentage points to 14.1 percent. Cash flow also improved for the Swiss company, which is based in Vevey.

In a statement the group said currency fluctuations hit their bottom line. It has also been taking hits on the decline in purchases of bottled water.

The company said sales would pick up in the second half.

Nestle’s outlook over time was mostly positive saying the company was “well placed to capture opportunities as economic conditions improve”.