VEVEY, Switzerland —Nestlé’s pet care segment led first-quarter sales growth in North and Latin America, according to the company’s three-month sales report for 2019. Premium brands, including Purina ONE and Tidy Cats litter, as well as e-commerce momentum drove the growth.

“Looking at our categories, we were particularly encouraged by growth improving in pet care, dairy and infant nutrition,” said Mark Schneider, CEO of Nestlé.

Overall first-quarter sales for Purina totaled $3.18 billion (3.223 billion Swiss francs), a 6.8% increase of from sales in the first three months of 2018. The pet care segment’s organic growth was 5.5%, the second-highest rate across Nestlé’s other six business segments.

Purina brands also led sales growth in Europe, the Middle-East and North Africa, which are grouped as Nestlé’s Zone EMENA.

“By category, Purina pet care and infant nutrition remain the key growth engines, particularly in central and eastern Europe,” said François-Xavier Roger, CFO of Nestlé.

Sales of the pet care segment were strong in Zone AOA as well, which includes Asia, Oceania and sub-Saharan Africa.

“Pet care continued to see strong growth globally based on e-commerce, super premium and natural offerings. Purina ONE, Felix and Tidy Cats grew strongly,” Roger added.

Schneider confirmed Nestlé’s outlook for 2019.

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