Nestle’s net profit for its first-half came in below expectations rising 2.1% to CHF 2,838 (£1,249m), hindered by higher raw material prices and poor weather conditions.

Organic growth for the company was also under expectations with an increase of 4.6%, but vice-chairman and chief executive Peter Brabeck-Letmathe said: “I expect a further acceleration of real internal growth in the second half of the year and remain optimistic that organic growth between 5 and 6% will be achieved for the full year.”

Poor weather conditions for the first half of 2004 compared to the exceptional weather for the same period in 2003 had a particular impact on ice cream and water sales. But among other categories culinary and healthcare nutrition performed well.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITA) rose to CHF 5.12bn (£2.24bn) from CHF 5.05bn (£2.22bn).