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Aug 18, 2:25 AM EDT

Nestle 1H profit slips, sales grow behind North America


GENEVA (AP) -- Swiss food and beverage giant Nestle says first-half profits dipped due to a one-time tax expense even as revenues edged up behind growth in its key North American food business and despite a slowdown in the Chinese market.

The Vevey, Switzerland-based maker of Kit Kats, Lean Cuisine meals, Maggi noodles and Gerber baby foods says net profit came in at 4.10 billion Swiss francs ($4.27 billion), down from 4.52 billion francs a year earlier, due to a 400-million franc deferred tax adjustment.

Sales rose under 1 percent to 43.16 billion francs.

Nestle cited innovations and marketing investment for growth in its North American frozen meals business, particularly at Lean Cuisine and Stouffer's.

But growth in China's food and beverage market slowed significantly, with its Yinlu food unit dragging on performance.

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