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Nestle posts strong first-half profits, sales

GENEVA (AP) -- Swiss food and drinks giant Nestle SA posted a 8.9 percent rise in profits and 7.5 percent rise in sales in the first half compared with a year ago, but predicts that the remainder of 2012 will be challenging.

The world's biggest food and beverage maker, with brands such as Nescafe, Haagen Dazs and Jenny Craig, posted a net profit of 5.120 billion Swiss francs ($5.27 billion) from January to June, up from 4.703 billion francs in the comparable 2011 period.

The Vevey, Switzerland-based company said Thursday first-half sales were 44.1 billion Swiss francs ($45.37 billion), up from $41 billion francs a year ago.

Chief Executive Paul Bulcke said in a statement the first half shows the company is "making the right choices at the right time."