Danone sees slump in infant formula sales in China
French food group Danone said its quarter sales were hit by weaker demand for infant formula products in China.
French food group Danone shrugged off a slow start to the year on Wednesday, saying it expected sales growth to accelerate after setbacks in China and Morocco.
The world’s biggest yoghurt maker said it was confident of delivering its financial targets for 2019 and 2020, even after first-quarter sales were hit by weaker demand for infant formula products in China and a consumer boycott in Morocco.
Danone said underlying sales in the first three months of the year rose 0.8pc to 6.14 billion euros (£5.32 billion), down from 2.4pc growth in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Its shares were down 1.6pc at 0900 GMT.
Danone’s Early Life Nutrition products in China fell around 15pc, partly due to a lower birth rate in the country and high year-ago comparables.
That followed declines of 10pc in the fourth quarter of 2018 and 20pc in the third quarter.
China is an important source of growth for Danone, contributing about 30pc of sales to the Early Life Nutrition business, which makes infant formula and general baby food products.