Nestlé has unveiled an increase in organic growth for the first quarter of the year despite spiralling input costs.

The Swiss manufacturing giant reported “strong, broad-based growth” of 6.4% on an organic basis, “building on the momentum” of 2010.

Emerging markets continued to be a growth driver for the company, up around 12% on an organic basis.

But its performance in the UK was hit by the late Easter and dampened consumer spending.

Total total sales for the period fell thanks to currency movements and the sale of its Alcon eyecare business to CHF20.3bn (£13.9bn).

Despite major increases in commodity costs, Nestlé forecast full-year organic growth of between 5% and 6%, as well as higher margins.

“We continue to invest for the future, particularly in R&D and consumer-facing marketing, while addressing the challenge of higher input costs by accelerating the pace of innovation,” said chief executive Paul Bulcke.

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Currency shift hits Nestlé profits (17 February 2011)
Nestlé ups its sales forecast after growth (14 August 2010)