Zurich — Food giant Nestlé said it expects an improvement in sales and profitability in the second half of 2018 as it seeks to assuage activist shareholder Third Point, with its infant formula business helping second-quarter results. Packaged food groups have seen sales slow as health-conscious consumers switch to fresh, local foods. Nestlé has also come under pressure from New York-based hedge fund Third Point, run by investor Daniel Loeb, asking for a bolder and faster overhaul at the world’s biggest food group. Solid growth in Europe and Asia and an improvement in the sluggish US market and in China, as well as in infant nutrition, led Nestlé to better-than-expected sales in the second quarter. It narrowed its guidance for 2018 organic growth to "about 3%" from a 2% to 4%. "As we look towards the second half of 2018, we expect further improvement in our organic revenue growth. Margin improvement is expected to accelerate with further benefits from our efficiency programmes and mo...

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