Danone sales grow across all categories

by Jeff Gelski
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PARIS — Groupe Danone on Thursday reported like-for-like sales growth of 7% for the first nine months of 2005 when compared with the first nine months of 2004. For the entire year 2005, the Paris-based company expects to achieve like-for-like sales growth between 6% and 7% and growth in underlying earnings per share from continuing activities of at least 10%.

For the first nine months, Groupe Danone had sales of €9,853 million ($11,809 million), which included sales of €5,342 million in fresh dairy products, €2,738 million in beverages and €1,773 million in biscuits and cereal products. The figures marked gains over the previous year of 7% for fresh dairy, 9% for beverages, and 1% for biscuits and cereal products.

In the third quarter, sales in fresh dairy products increased 7% to €1,838 million. Beverage sales increased 11% to €966 million, and biscuits and cereal products sales rose 1% to €612 million.

Danone in the third quarter reported low double-digit growth in North America fresh dairy. Danone has a partnership with Stonyfield Farm, Inc., a manufacturer of natural and organic yogurts and ice cream based in Londonderry, N.H.

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