Nestlé has reported an 11.4% increase in half-year net profit to June of CHF4.151bn (£1.79bn), on sales up 11% at CHF47.138bn (£20.2bn).

The Swiss food giant said that during the period there was strong growth in the Americas, Asia, Oceania and Africa.

In Europe, it reported sales of CHF12.8bn (£5.5bn) - its strongest real internal growth since 2002.

Peter Brabeck-Lethe, chairman and chief executive of Nestlé, said: “During the first half of 2006 the group delivered excellent levels of growth and profit margin. This was made possible by the strong performance of our food, beverage and nutrition business.”

He added: “Continued input cost pressures were outweighed by cost and working capital discipline, reflecting our ability to improve our margins even in tough economic conditions.”

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