KitKat maker Nestle puts up prices again

KitKat maker Nestle has put up its prices again due to “unprecedented” increases in costs.

The Swiss food giant said it had increased prices by 6.5% in the first half of this year.

McDonald’s and Coca-Cola also announced price rises this week.

Companies are facing increased costs for things such as fuel, wages and ingredients, and consumer prices in the UK are rising at their fastest rate for 40 years.

Nestle, which also makes Cheerios and Smarties, had already increased prices by 3.1% in the last three months of 2021.

Chief executive Mark Schneider said price increases were implemented “in a responsible manner”.

“We limited the impact of unprecedented inflationary pressures and supply chain constraints on our margin development through disciplined cost control and operational efficiencies,” he added.

Price rises were highest in North America, at 9.8%, compared with 4.9% in Europe.

Nestle said organic sales – which strip out the impact of currency changes and acquisitions – had risen by 8.1% in the first half of the year. The firm raised its organic sales growth forecast for the year to between 7% and 8%.

Net profit fell by 11.7% to 5.2bn Swiss francs ($5.4bn; £4.5bn) as a result of one-off items, including higher taxesand write-offs of property and equipment in Russia.

In March, Nestle stopped investment in Russia and pulled its popular brands out of the country following the invasion of Ukraine. However, it still sells essentials such as baby formula and medical nutrition products there.

The war in Ukraine has helped to push up the cost of fuel and food further, with UK inflation – the rate at which prices rise – hitting 9.4% in June, the highest level for more than 40 years.

Some firms are also having to increase wages to attract and retain staff, with job vacancies at near record highs. However, pay increases are not keeping up with the growing cost of living.

On Wednesday, McDonald’s said it was increasing the price of its cheeseburger for the first time in more than 14 years – from 99p to £1.19 in the UK .

It came after drinks giant Coca-Cola told Bloomberg its global prices had increased by an average of about 5%

Earlier this week, Amazon also announced it was increasing prices for UK customers due to higher costswith the price of its Prime subscription service rising by £1 a month from September.

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