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Nestle India reports Q2 loss as noodle scare hits sales

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Nestle India Ltd, battling a reputational crisis after a food scare, slipped into a loss in the June quarter, as sales plunged after its hugely popular Maggi noodles were pulled off shelves over safety concerns.

[MUMBAI] Nestle India Ltd, battling a reputational crisis after a food scare, slipped into a loss in the June quarter, as sales plunged after its hugely popular Maggi noodles were pulled off shelves over safety concerns.

The unit of Swiss food giant Nestle SA said on Wednesday that net loss for its second quarter ended June was 644 million rupees, compared with a profit of 2.88 billion rupees a year earlier. Sales fell 20 per cent to 19.34 billion rupees.

The company reported one-off costs of 4.52 billion rupees in the quarter.

Nestle has been at the centre of India's worst food scare in a decade after local regulators reported that some packets of the company's Maggi instant noodles - one of India's most popular snacks - contained dangerous levels of lead.

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India's food safety regulator banned Maggi last month, calling it "unsafe and hazardous for human consumption".

Nestle has maintained the noodles are safe, and appealed against the ban in court. But it has to continue with a nationwide recall of some 27,400 tonnes of the noodles until a verdict is reached.

REUTERS

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