Nestlé posted a 7.2% rise in first-half sales at the lower end of expectations.

For the six months ended June 30 sales increased to SFr44.22bn while core sales rose 3.5%, below the 4% full-year target, but in line with the forecast 3.35 to 3.8% range.

Net income rose 79% to SFr5.656bn as a result of the contribution from its eye care unit Alcon and FIS.

Restructuring costs and goodwill impairments related to the Ralston Purina acquisition and other assets stood at SFr1.9bn in the first half.

The Swiss group reiterated it expects higher full-year sales and profits on a constant currency basis.