Food and drink group Kraft Foods' first-quarter net profit rose 41% to $1bn on net sales up 0.8% to $8.1bn.

The group added that net sales in the European Union fell 9.1% to $1.47bn during the period.

Roger K Deromedi, chief executive officer of Kraft Foods, said: “Our year is off to a good start. While input costs and the EU remain challenging, I'm confident that our momentum will continue to build as 2006 progresses.”