Nestlé has reported a 9.1% increase in nine-month sales to CHF72.2bn (£30.5bn).

In a sales update released this morning, the Swiss food giant also said it had achieved organic growth of 6.1% in the first nine months of the year, with organic growth of 5.8% in food and beverages.

In Europe, Nestlé said that there had been strong growth, with Nescafé, Nesquik, pet care and frozen all performing well. Ice cream sales also accelerated despite poor weather in August.

Its water brands business Nestlé Waters also reported positive growth in Europe.

Peter Brabeck-Lethmathe, chairman and chief executive officer of Nestlé, said that the group was continuing to make progress in transforming into a nutrition, health and wellness company.

He added: “Our strong growth has continued into the third-quarter of 2006. We are still facing volatile raw material and energy prices, but overall, I feel comfortable in reconfirming our reaching the upper end of our long-term organic growth target of between 5 and 6%.