Nestle Sales Growth Hit by Middle East Events and Cold Weather

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Underlying sales growth at the world's largest food group Nestle slowed to 4.3 percent in the first quarter, missing forecasts, as demand in emerging markets slowed further and cold spring weather hit bottled water and ice-cream sales.

Sales at the maker of Kitkat chocolate bars and Nespresso portioned coffee rose to 21.9 billion Swiss francs ($23.52 billion), which falls short of an average estimate for 22.58 billion in a Reuters poll.

"The start to the year reflects the caution we expressed in February," Chief Executive Paul Bulcke said in a statement.

"We continue to expect some volatility throughout 2013 but reconfirm our expectation to deliver on our commitments for the full year," he said.

Nestle confirmed full-year guidance of 5-6 percent underlying sales growth.