FRANCE: Danone Tops H1 Forecasts

Danone has reported better-than-expected growth for its fiscal first half, as cost control and price hikes helped boost sales at its dairy division.

Sales were up 3.8% on an organic basis to €11.05bn (-3% reported), with recurring operating profit up 11.5% to €1.48bn (+7% reported).  The results were helped by a strong second quarter, which saw organic sales growth of more than 4%.

For the half, the Fresh Dairy division saw sales grow by 2.6% on an organic to €5.38bn, although volumes declined by 2.1%.  The Waters division reported a 3.2% increase in sales to €2.39bn, with volumes up 5.9%. The Early Life Nutrition division saw a 6% rise in sales to €2.5bn, with volumes growing by 1.6%. And the Medical Nutrition division chipped in with a 6.8% increase in sales to €787m, as volumes rose by 4.7%.

CFO Cecile Cabanis said the group was “fully on track to deliver on our 2020 goals”, but did not change the full-year forecasts. Cabanis said Danone was helped by the relaunch of the Danonino and Actimel brands in Europe, adding that it will now relaunch the Activia brand.

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