A strong performance from its coffee business and growth in China helped Nestlé to increase its overall net sales of CHF 43.92 billion ($44.22bn) by 2.3 per cent in the first half of the year.

Net profit also rose by 19 per cent to CHF 5.8bn ($5.85bn). However, the company’s largest division in the Americas saw a drop in sales of 3.4 per cent, which it has put down to the divestment of its US confectionery unit, which was bought by Ferrero bought in January for $2.8bn.

A truckers’ strike in Brazil was also claimed to be a reason, with the food and drink giant’s transportation network in South America disrupted because of it.

Sales in Asia, Oceania and Sub-Saharan Africa increased by 2.9 per cent due to faster growth in the coffee sector particularly in China and South East Asia. Coffee was also one of the main backers of growth in Europe, Middle East and North Africa, with total net sales up 6.9 per cent.

Chief executive Mark Schneider said: “Our first-half results confirmed that our strategic initiatives and rigorous execution are clearly paying off. Nestlé has maintained the encouraging organic revenue growth momentum we saw at the beginning of the year. In particular, the United States and China markets showed a meaningful improvement. We were also pleased by the enhanced organic growth in our core infant nutrition category.