Friday 15 December 2017

Danone sales growth beats estimates

Julie Cruz

Danone, the owner of Evian bottled water and Activia yogurt, reported second-quarter sales growth that beat estimates as the company sold more baby-nutrition products in China and dairy sales rose more than forecast.

Like-for-like revenue gained 6.5pc from a year earlier, the Paris-based company said. Analysts expected 5.7pc. Total sales increased 6.7pc to €5.72bn. Volume jumped 4.1pc, the strongest gain in the past eight quarters, the company said.

"It's certainly a good set of figures," said Jon Cox, head of European consumer equities at Kepler Cheuvreux in Zurich. "Danone is the fastest-growing big food company in Europe at the moment and has a great portfolio, which is reflected in the numbers."

Sales of baby-nutrition products have surged in China as a spate of food-safety scandals fuelled demand for foreign formula.

Organic sales at Danone's baby-nutrition unit rose almost 14pc in the quarter, beating analysts' estimates. Organic, or like-for-like, sales exclude acquisitions, disposals and currency fluctuations.

Danone shares jumped as much as 3.7pc to €59.58 in Paris, the highest intraday price since May 28.

The stock has gained 19pc this year, valuing the company at €37.7bn. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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