Danone income up 10% in half

by Staff
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PARIS — Groupe Danone saw underlying net income rise 10% in the first half of 2010 thanks to strong demand in Asia and developing countries.

During the half, the company had an underlying net income of €848 million ($1,105 million), compared with an income of €722 during the same period of the previous year. The company had sales of €8,364 million ($10,901 million) during the half, up 7% from €7,520 million during the same period of the previous year.

“Our results in the first half of this year confirm our strong start in 2010,” the company said in a statement. “We continue to invest in countries, products and brands with a strong potential — baby nutrition in Asia, dairy products in the U.S., in Brazil as well as in Russia where the Danone-Unimilk alliance provides us with significant long-term growth opportunities. In the Waters and Medical Nutrition divisions we continue to identify new growth opportunities in emerging markets as well as new business models.

“We simultaneously continue to focus on productivity, which is critical in light of the volatile raw material prices. Lastly, our cash-flow generation keeps increasing steadily. Investments, productivity and cash flow are essential as they build the performance of today, but also the Danone of tomorrow — more global, more efficient, stronger, at the service of its mission and of value creation.”

For the full-year 2010, the company expects like-for-like sales growth of at least 6%, and a stable trading operating margin versus 2009 on a like-for-like basis.

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