VEVEY, SWITZERLAND — Stronger demand helped lead to a 4% increase in sales at Nestle during the first nine months of the year.

For the January to September period, the company had sales of 82,770 million Swiss francs ($851,151 million), which compared with 79,547 million Swiss francs during the same period of the previous year.

“Our performance is the result of clear strategic alignment and focus on execution throughout the whole organization, both in developed and in emerging markets,” said Paul Bulcke, chief executive officer. “Our ongoing efforts on the cost side combined with increased investment in our brands, innovation, capabilities and people have, as previously stated, prepared us well for the second half. Indeed, the first half’s growth momentum continued unabated in the third quarter, providing a good base for the full year as we face challenging comparatives in the final quarter. We therefore reconfirm that our Food and Beverages business will achieve organic growth of around 5% combined with an increase in E.B.I.T. margin in constant currencies for 2010 as a whole.”

The company said key drivers for the performance included deeper distribution in emerging markets and a strong pipeline of targeted innovation combined with key brand support.

Sales in Zone Americas were 24,985 million Swiss francs ($25,692 million), up 7% from 23,393 million Swiss francs during the same period of the previous year.