ZURICH, July 27 (Reuters) - Swiss food group Nestle reported slightly better than expected earnings for the first half of 2017, a month after the world’s largest food company was targeted by activist investor Daniel Loeb.
The maker of Kitkat chocolate bars and Maggi soups said on Thursday net profit rose 19 percent to 4.9 billion Swiss francs ($5.16 billion) in the first six months of the year, beating a 4.83 billion franc estimate in a Reuters poll.
Organic sales, which includes volume and price increases, grew by 2.3 percent, the same rate as the first quarter, trailing analyst estimates of 2.8 percent and a deceleration from the 3.5 percent rate a year earlier.
It also confirmed its full-year forecast for sales growth of 2 to 4 percent and a stable trading operating margin in constant currency. ($1 = 0.9503 Swiss francs) (Reporting by John Revill and Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Michael Shields)