Nestlé has raised its full year sales forecast despite bracing itself for a tougher second half.

The Kit Kat maker has forecast a 5% increase in food and drink sales versus the 3.9% delivered last year on the back of strong growth in emerging ­markets.

Like-for-like food sales grew 2.2% in Europe in the six months to 30 June. Global sales were up 5.7% with ­total first-half revenues of £33.3bn. Profits were 7.5% higher at £3.3bn.

Nestlé, which recently snapped up Latin American powdered drinks maker Malher Group and UK ­nutrition specialist Vitaflo, also upped its food and drink marketing spend by 14% over the first half of 2009.

"We have increased ­investment in our brands, people and capabilities and prepared for a more challenging second half," said Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke.

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