VEVEY, Switzerland: Nestlé has posted a 6.1% profits increase for the first half of 2008. The world's biggest food manufacturer also reported a year-on-year sales rise of 3.8% despite rising commodity costs.

The company's H1 profits totalled some SwF5.2 billion ($4.8bn; €3.2bn; £2.5bn), with total sales reaching 53bn francs. 

Coffee and baby food were particularly profitable areas, with the former boosted by sales of its Nespresso coffee brand and machines, and the latter by its Gerber line, which it acquired last year from Novartis

In response to rising costs, Nestlé has increased prices on thousands of its products over the last few months, a strategy also pursued by Kraft Foods, but which has been said by Unilever to have unfavourably impacted sales volumes.

While analysts suggest Nestlé could soon target takeovers of companies from HJ Heinz to Hershey, ceo Paul Bulcke said at a recent briefing: "I don't feel the need for the time being for game-changing acquisitions."

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff