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Sales & Earnings In Brief

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Nestle credits R&D with nutritional growth: Innovations in the infant nutrition category, such as cereals with probiotics and formula to help alleviate colic, fuel the strong first-half performance of Nestle Nutrition. The food giant's nutrition business increased sales organically 6.2 percent in the January-June period to CHF 5.43 billion ($4.98 billion under Aug. 11 exchange rates). Nestle said infant nutrition had particularly strong double-digit growth in emerging markets such as Russia, China, the Middle East and Africa. Nestle's health care nutrition is also gaining momentum, and the Swiss firm made a recent move to expand that business with its acquisition of Vitaflo (1"The Tan Sheet" Aug. 9, 2010, In Brief). Nestle's pharma unit, including its now-divested stake in Alcon, increased sales to $4.12 billion in the half. The company's overall sales for the first six months of 2010 totaled $52.49 billion, representing 6.1 organic growth. Nestle did not break out financial results for the second quarter

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Nestle acquires Vitaflo

Nestle acquires Vitaflo, a U.K. manufacturer of clinical nutrition products, for an undisclosed price, according to an Aug. 2 release. Vitaflo sells products to help treat inherited metabolic disorders, such as phenylketonuria. Nutritional products available in the U.S. from Vitaflo includeVitaBite no-protein chocolate bar and FlavourPac protein-free flavoring additive. Though relatively few people have diseases for which these kinds of special diets are prescribed, the market is expanding thanks to improved diagnosis, Nestle says. Vitaflo's products join nutritional brands the Swiss food and beverage giant already markets, including PowerBar protein supplements, Optifast weight loss products and Boost nutritional drinks

Sales & Earnings In Brief

Herbalife sales hit by currency exchange: Fourth-quarter net sales grow 23 percent to $630.9 million, though the effects of foreign currency fluctuation trim Herbalife's full-year sales 1.5 percent to $2.32 billion. The multilevel marketer of nutritional and weight-management products reported dramatic quarterly gains in net sales in the Asia Pacific region - up 56.2 percent to $151.5 million - and in South and Central America - up 34 percent to $113.2 million. Sales were flat or down in Mexico - affected by a value-added tax and distribution challenges - and in China, where sales leaders still are implementing the daily consumption model, Herbalife executives said Feb. 24. The Los Angeles firm said net income for the October-December period jumped 65.4 percent to $55.7 million, but dipped 8.1 percent to $203.3 million for the full year. Herbalife introduced more than 60 new or reformulated products across 72 countries during the year, CEO Michael Johnson said. The company projects net sales growth of 12.5 percent to 13.5 percent for its fiscal 2010 first quarter, and growth between 8.5 percent and 9.5 percent for the year

Leading Chinese Drug Chain China Nepstar Plans Rapid Expansion

Sales of over-the-counter drugs represent a third of overall revenue for China Nepstar Chain Drugstore, which reported sales of $64.6 million, up 6.6 percent, for the quarter ended Sept. 30

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