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News Summary: Nestle posts higher first-half earns

The Associated Press

FILE - In this Thursday, April 19, 2012 file photo Nestle's CEO Paul Bulcke speaks during the general meeting of one of the world's leading food and beverage company, Nestle Group, in Lausanne, Switzerland. Nestle SA posted a 8.9 percent rise in first-half profits but predicted that the remainder of 2012 will be challenging. Bulcke said the first half shows the company is "making the right choices at the right time" and its strategic roadmap is working. (AP Photo/Keystone, Jean-Christophe Bott, File)

EARNINGS UP: Swiss food and drinks giant Nestle SA posted an 8.9 percent rise in first-half profits Thursday, helped by strong demand from emerging markets, price increases and cost-cutting. Its revenue rose 7.5 percent.

THE OUTLOOK: The world's biggest food and beverage maker reaffirmed its outlook for the rest of the year despite what it called a "tough trading environment, especially in developed markets."

TROUBLE AHEAD?: The owner of brands such as Nescafe, Haagen Daz and Jenny Craig warned of a slowdown in its key U.S. market. It said consumer confidence remained weak there and competition has increased from supermarkets selling their own brands.