KitKat maker Nestle has said demand for chocolate among sweet-toothed Britons remained strong during the recession.
The Swiss food giant said its UK confectionery business continued to perform well in the first six months of the year amid demand for brands such as Yorkie and Smarties.
The comments provide fresh evidence that cash-strapped shoppers are turning to chocolate for a low-cost treat as the economic crisis bites , The Press Association reports.
Meanwhile, the result bettered market expectations, although some analysts noted the company had dropped its full-year growth target. Shares fell 3.2 percent to 42.70 francs ($39.42) in early Zurich trading.
Chief Executive Paul Bulcke said he was pleased that Nestle "delivered a combination of growth and increased profitability in the first half of the year, and this in a very challenging business environment." , The Associated Press reports.
"The Group remains committed to its strategic direction focused on sustainable, long-term profitable growth and is well placed to capture opportunities as economic conditions improve," said Mr Bulcke.
Environmental concerns and the impact of the recession saw Nestle's bottled water division hardest hit, suffering a 3.7% drop in sales volumes , BBC News reports.