Maggi Crisis Hits Nestle, Profit Slumps

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Mumbai: Nestle India Ltd reported fourth-quarter net profit below analysts’ estimates as it struggles to regain market share of its once-popular Maggi noodles that were temporarily banned last year over safety concerns.

The India unit of Nestle SA, the world’s largest packaged food company, reported a net profit of Rs. 259 crore for the January-March quarter, while analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected Rs. 287 crore on average.

The net profit was well below Rs. 320 crore which Nestle India posted a year earlier, before Indian regulators found some samples of its Maggi noodles contained unsafe levels of lead.

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The company had to pull the noodles off the shelves for nearly six months, and restarted sales only in November, after tests carried out at government-accredited laboratories showed the noodles were safe for consumption.