Nestle fends off cost inflation with price hikes

STORY: Nestle expects to increase its sales by around 5% this year despite inflation.

The world’s biggest food group said customers had not stopped buying in the first quarter even though it had raised prices.

It also forecast more increases ahead.

Prices rose most sharply in North America, its top market, at 8.5%.

So far Nestle - which makes brands like Nescafe and KitKat - has passed its higher costs on to customers, claiming it ‘stepped up pricing In a responsible manner’.

Organic sales were up just over 7.5% in Q1 - beating forecasts.

The first quarter also saw the Ukraine conflict, which has pushed up costs for energy and commodities, threatening the profitability of food groups.

Nestle had sales of around $1.8 billion in Russia last year, but now it has stopped selling non-essential products in the country.

It does still supply infant formula and medical nutrition despite pushback from employees in Ukraine.

Shares were up close to 2% in early trade Thursday (April 21).

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