Group Danone Reports 19.6 Percent Sales Gain In First Quarter

Group Danone reported sales rose 19.6 percent in the first quarter of 2011, while the like-for-like rise was 8.5 percent, making this the best quarterly performance since first quarter of 2008.

Growth was balanced, underpinned by rises in volume (5.0 percent) and in value (3.5 percent).

Business accelerated in all divisions and all regions.

"Danone teams have done a truly remarkable job over the past few quarters, reflected in the steep 8.5 percent rise in our net sales for first quarter 2011," said Chairman Franck Riboud in a prepared statement. "All four business lines and all the regions we operate in contributed to this acceleration, benefiting from very healthy pace in volumes. Waters and Baby Nutrition put in an exceptionally good showing, reporting growth of over 10 percent this quarter.

"Since January, we have begun integrating Danone-Unimilk, our joint venture in Russia, with several initiatives already under way. These include portfolio segmentation and trading-up, but also measures to increase productivity and realize synergies. Continued progress here will remain a priority in the months ahead.

"The competitive management of rising raw material prices will also be a priority for the rest of the year."

Consolidated sales rose 19.6 percent to €4,757 million in the first quarter of 2011. Excluding the impact of changes in exchange rates (2.5) and the scope of consolidation (8.6 percent), sales were up 8.5 percent. This organic growth reflects a 5 percent rise in sales volume and a percent increase in value.