April 24 (Reuters) - Nestle reported a 4.3% rise in organic sales growth for the first quarter, the food giant said on Friday, as consumers filled cupboards with Purina pet food and Poland Spring water to prepare for lockdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Nestle also said it is launching a 500 million Swiss franc ($511.77 million) program to help its food service suppliers during the coronavirus crisis, by extending payment terms and suspending rental fees for coffee machines. The company also said it was keeping its outlook for the year.
Analysts on average were expecting a 3.0% increase in first-quarter underlying sales growth, according to company-supplied estimates.
$1 = 0.9770 Swiss francs Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru, editing by John Revill