Nestle expects sales to grow this year

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VEVEY, Switzerland (Reuters) - Nestle said it expected its organic sales to rise this year after an improving performance in China and North America helped growth accelerate in 2018 after six years of slowdowns.

Demand for packaged foods has suffered from a trend towards healthier eating, and Nestle Chief Executive Mark Schneider is trying to bring the world's biggest food group back up to speed by improving efficiency and focussing on growth categories.

Organic sales grew 3.0 percent in the full year, accelerating to 3.7 percent in the final quarter, and net profit jumped 42 percent to 10.1 billion Swiss francs (7.8 billion pounds) benefiting from one-off items, the maker of Kitkat chocolate bars and Nespresso portioned coffee said in a statement on Thursday.

(Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz)

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