Nestle posts 26% sales growth in Russia in 2008

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MOSCOW, March 11 (RIA Novosti) - Nestle, the world's largest food company, announced on Wednesday its Russia sales increased 26%, year-on-year, in 2008 to 50.3 billion rubles ($1.4 billion).

Stefan de Loecker, the general director of Nestle's Russia division, declined to forecast sales growth in 2009. He said that after the company's good performance in the first quarter of 2009, the second and third quarters would be much more difficult due to declining demand, while it was hard to predict sales in the fourth quarter.

Loecker said that the company had raised the prices for its foodstuffs and beverages from 4% to 14%, depending on the product category, as most raw materials for its products were imported.

Nestle, the producer of such famous brands as Nescafe, Nesquik and Kit Kat, makes more than 90% of its products sold on the Russian market locally.

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